Former Aussie soldier Clent Wilson had a couple of old sayings.
‘That was stupid’ and ‘That’s all’.
Both might sum-up the demise of the father of three, who died last month when a homemade bomb tied to his waist detonated after a heated visit to his estranged partner.
The explosion on Nettle Drive in Hallam, east Melbourne, was captured on CCTV from a nearby home.
Described in media reports as a ‘suicide vest’, the bomb had been knocked-up in Mr Wilson’s backyard from old car airbags and packed a C4 detonator.
But his son Oliver, 17, told Daily Mail Australia his father was not suicidal and he didn’t mean to blow himself up.
Clent Wilson, 42, died when an explosive device he had strapped to his waist exploded
A shrine kept in honour of former Aussie soldier Clent Wilson by his son Oliver
Happy times: Oliver and his dad Clent Wilson shared a special bond. They had been living together when he was killed in an explosion
The 43-year old had served in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment based at Darwin’s Robertson barracks 20 years ago before being dishonourably discharged for attacking a pilot.
While a Melbourne newspaper report suggesting the fracas was related to an alleged sexual assault against Mr Wilson, his son, Oliver, has told Daily Mail Australia the fight was over a woman.
‘He bashed a pilot because he went home to find his fiancé in bed with the B12 pilot,’ he said.
‘He’s knocked him out and he’s one of his superiors, which made it a little harder for him.’
Oliver, just shy of 18, has refuted claims his dad had intended to kill himself last month.
He was off drugs and had recently secured a job with Oliver working in scaffolding.
The claims of sexual assault have since instigated a full investigation by the Australian Defence Force into Mr Wilson’s discharge.
Oliver, who had been living with his father in Dandenong at the time of the incident, said he had discussed his father’s exit from the Army again just four days before his death.
Clent Wilson claimed he had been discharged from the Army for bashing a superior who had slept with his partner
A bomb strapped to the waist of Clent Wilson detonated as he was speeding away from his ex-partner’s home
‘After the Army there was a lot of anxiety there … they had locked him down and they sedated him for a full week. He told me he couldn’t handle being sedated with two armed guards by his side all day so he slashed his wrists to get discharged,’ he said.
‘We were father and son. He told me everything.’
After leaving the ADF, Mr Wilson worked hard to get his life back on track.
He met another woman and they had three kids together before Mr Wilson’s demons came back to torment him and they split.
Mr Wilson lost his kids, which would pour fuel on a fire he had fought so hard to extinguish.
‘It was half the reason for his depression,’ Oliver said.
On the day Mr Wilson would die, he and Oliver had plans to go fishing that afternoon and spend the weekend dangling a line.
It had been a Saturday and Mr Wilson had been agitated over the break-down of another failed relationship.
Clent Wilson and his son Oliver in happier times.
Clent Wilson had threatened his estranged partner with a bomb attached to his waist in the moments before he died
Mr Wilson had struggled through his life to maintain and let go of relationships.
‘He was like a 15-year old boy at heart,’ Oliver said.
‘He went around his ex’s place and was threatening her. I knew at the time that his mindframe wasn’t the best, but he would not intend to (hurt her).’
Oliver’s father had gone there with the homemade bomb strapped with a piece of cloth to his stomach.
The 17-year old insisted his father had no plans to kill himself that day either.
‘It was a freak accident. Probably the one way of showing him you don’t play with bombs,’ he said.
Bomb making had been something Mr Wilson simply liked to ‘f**k around with’, his son said.
‘We’ve got a lot of land around here and we like to play around and blow trees up and stuff like that,’ he said.
Oliver believes the explosive went off after Mr Wilson sped off from his estranged partner’s home.
‘He would have been flying through the S-bend, he’s lost grip of the tyres and gone-up over the gutters,’ he said.
Oliver said despite his father’s obvious flaws, he had been respected by those that knew him well.
Clent Wilson had struggled with depression and anxiety for much of his life. He had been discharged from the Army for knocking out a superior officer
Clent Wilson was at home on the water. He was farewelled at the Lake Boga Ski Club on February 5
Clent Wilson loved nothing more than a quiet beer while fishing. He had planned to dangle a line with his son on the day he would die
He was also known as a man who could snap when provoked.
‘You didn’t want to push his buttons. He was not someone who appreciated being f**ked with,’ Oliver said.
The teen remembered his dad as a man who had never abandoned him.
When Oliver had a falling out with his mum in New South Wales, his dad was eager to take him in.
‘Dad’s always been the one to throw his hand-up and say “I’ll have him”,’ he said.
Oliver now has his dad’s favourite saying, ‘That’s all’, tattooed on his hand.
‘He would use it when you did something he was proud of,’ he said.
His father’s second phrase was usually uttered after almost blowing himself up.
‘Every time something went wrong. That was stupid,’ Oliver said.
Mr Wilson, a keen water skier, was farewelled among friends and family at the Lake Boga Ski Club on February 5.
‘There were a lot of people there. He would have been happy,’ Oliver said.
In April, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission into veteran suicide days.
At least 500 Afghanistan veterans have taken their own lives since Australia went to war in 2001.
The prime minister will also establish a National Commissioner to make sure any recommendations made by the two-year inquiry are implemented.
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au
Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or defence.gov.au/health/healthportal.
Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk