Pretty much, Kyle came out as being gay, fled to Ballarat, and commenced a relationship with an older guy he met on-line.
Kyle also suffered mental health problems, and according to reports had a strong history with child protection. This in itself should be ringing alarm bells.
Based on the limited reporting of the case, this is my take on what COULD HAVE happened. I am open to alternative theories.
Kyle had a rough upbringing, and traumatic early childhood. This could have helped lay the foundations of what is considered his mental condition. In January of 2013, Kyle's father found out Kyle was gay. Shortly after, Kyle fled Adelaide to live with an older man he met on-line.
What was the outcome of his father finding out his son was gay? Was the Father furious and homophobic towards Kyle? I ask the question nobody else has asked yet? else what would cause Kyle to flee his home state and go and live with someone he hardly knew? Kyle's actions seem to indicate there is more to him leaving home, than just a whim. If his Father was homophobic, that'd be a good reason for Kyle to flee, wouldn't it?
The coroner fears Kyle was being groomed by the older man. If a relationship existed between Kyle and the older man, Wayne Shefferle, why does it have to be grooming? The (simplified) legal definition of grooming is one of breaking down the barriers of a child, for sexual gratification by the older person. It seems to me, that Kyle had none of these barriers. It appears he entered into a "relationship" of his own will. If this is true, and events happened like this, then there is no case to answer to grooming a child. And in reality, when you boil it down, how different is it to Hugh Hefner, an old old man, running around with 25 year old women? Why is this not grooming?
Leaving the legalities of this case aside, why do authorities have a problem understanding that a 16 year old kid could have a "crush", a "love" or whatever you want to call it, for an older person? I mean, for god's sake, I've even seem films where young female students have "crushes" on a much older male teacher. My point is that it's socially acceptable for this to be portrayed in film, but not in real life. Maybe Kyle had a crush on Shefferle? And this relationship appears to have blossomed whereby the pair were (apparently) seen kissing by a neighbour. It hardly seems possible that Kyle is being forced into this, maybe it's exactly what he wanted?
Counsel, Anna Robertson, assisting the trial into Kyle's death, has said at best the relationship between the pair was detrimental and at worst, involved the older man grooming Kyle for sexual servitude. Is this the best a counsel can come up with? To me, throwaway comments like this just show how little some legal practitioners know about the real world. They think about everything on a legal level, rather than knowing if the relationship would be detrimental or not. It also sounds good to a court to make these stupid comments when they can't be backed up with hard evidence. For all she knows, the relationship might have had a good stabilising effect on Kyle, If this were the case, is this not a good thing? A relationship that is illegal in the eyes of the law, but does good for two people?
The legal system seems to thinks that kids these days are just dumb and stupid, but a lot more goes on in their heads than you think. My nieces and nephews tell me stuff that I'd never consider when I was their age. They know what they want and it can be a less in age than someone like Kyle. The law doesn't see it this way, and so it shouldn't, but lets not run an older man's life into the ground before all the facts are established. And, in this case, the facts can't be fully established because one person is dead, so legal practitioners should not be making assumptions, like Anna Robertson has done.
Either way, I hope Kyle is in a better place. No child, whether, black, white, gay, straight, deserves to be bought up in an abusive nasty environment. Can you really blame them for running away to try and have a better life?