Father Mick Reynolds mourns son Lockie earlier than studying boy wasn’t his after $110okay in baby assist
A grieving dad has been left shattered after learning the 20-year-old boy he had helped raise and paid $110,000 to financially support, wasn’t his.
Mick Reynolds, 43, learned the devastating truth two years after Lockie Hernaman died of an unexplained heart condition during footy training in the rural WA town of Harvey, south of Perth, in 2019.
Mr Reynolds’ on-off again girlfriend Melissa Hernaman had first told him she was pregnant when he was 21.
‘I gave her a chance to come clean right at the start,’ he told A Current Affair.
‘I said to her, “is he even mine?” And then she said, “yeah of course”.’
But a letter in December 2021 spelling out the results of a DNA test revealed that Mr Reynolds was not Lockie’s father.
Melissa Hernaman (right) told him she was pregnant when she was 21 and had their son, Lockie (left). Lockie died of an unexplained heart condition in 2019, prompting a DNA test
Mick Reynolds, 43, was listed as Lockie’s dad on his birth certificate – and only learned after his death that he was not the father
Mr Reynolds lived with Lockie and Ms Hernaman until the boy was seven. In the following years the former couple shared custody.
Mr Reynolds paid regular child support of $400 fortnightly until Lockie turned 18, amounting to $110,000.
Although Mr Reynolds admitted there were a ‘few things that didn’t add up’ about Lockie, he didn’t dwell on his doubts.
‘When (my other son) Rory was born he was like a mini-me but Lochie didn’t resemble me at all,’ he said.
‘I used to just put in the back of mind, thinking, “she told me he belonged to me”.’
About a year after Lockie died at football training on April 30, 2019, Mr Reynolds was asked to do DNA testing for the gene that may have caused Lockie’s heart failure.
Ms Hernaman slammed the TV station’s report, telling Daily Mail Australia the Channel Nine report was ‘very one sided’ and contained ‘many facts’ but also ‘many lies’.
He was given the all-clear and told Ms Hernaman, who said she also did not carry the gene.
‘So, I just said to her, “well, who, where did it come from?”,’ Mr Reynolds said.
‘She just went all quiet… and then on the phone… hung up pretty quick.’
‘I felt angry. I felt connected.’
Ms Hernaman later sent a series of text messages confirming his suspicion.
‘There was one other person, one time, one only,’ the text said.
‘Yes, you could have the test and we find that you are not the biological father, but you are and always will be his dad.
‘I know I should have said something at the time, but I know I made a mistake and I knew you were going to be a good dad.’
Two of the text messages Ms Hernaman sent to Mr Reynolds where she revealed there was ‘one other person – one time – one only’
Mr Reynolds learned the devastating truth after he was tested for a possible hereditary gene that may have caused Lockie’s death. Above, by Lockie’s graveside
Mr Reynolds sobbed during an interview with A Current Affair, saying he was left broken by the revelation.
He has since spoken to the man Ms Hernaman said is Lockie’s biological father over the phone, but has not heard from him again.
Mr Reynolds is now asking for the $110,000 he paid in child support back from Ms Hernaman, but she has refused to pay.
The mother claims she thought Mr Reynolds was the father but refused to answer questions on the matter when A Current Affair approached.
When asked why she took child support payments when she knew he wasn’t the father, she said: ‘I didn’t though.’
Lockie was 20 years old when he died of unexplained heart failure during a football training session
Mr Hernaman slammed the Channel Nine report as ‘very one sided’ adding that it contained ‘many facts’ and ‘many lies’
Ms Hernaman slammed the Channel Nine report, telling Daily Mail Australia it as ‘very one sided’ and contained ‘many facts’ but also ‘many lies’.
Ms Hernaman did not directly answer Daily Mail Australia’s questions about what particular lies were broadcast, the DNA test, the confession text and if she had always known who was the father.
Nr Reynolds said: ‘I lost someone twice, it’s bad enough to lose someone once let alone twice.
‘I don’t know how many people in this world have gone through this but how do you lose someone twice?’