STEVEN CASTAN is a WA-based barrister, and nationally accredited mediator.
Following up our DUAO story — AltLJ 39(4) — on the tragic death in custody of Miss Dhu in a South Hedland Police Station, a coronial inquest has been announced that will run from 23 November to 4 December 2015.
Miss Dhu, aged 22, died on 4 August last year after being held at South Hedland Police Station for four days reportedly over unpaid fines totalling approximately $1000. After complaining of not feeling well, Miss Dhu was transported to the Hedland Health Campus three times. Twice she was sent back after being declared fit for incarceration and returned to her cell but on the third visit was pronounced dead.
The family has mounted a vocal public campaign for answers as to how Miss Dhu died while in custody and after being examined by doctors. Rallies and days of action have been held across Australia, including the latest one on 4 August 2015 in Geraldton. The family are relieved that an inquest has been set down for this year but have also been calling for an independent enquiry into Miss Dhu’s death. An enquiry has been rejected by WA Attorney General, Michael Mischin, who has said that he believes the state’s coroner’s court is the appropriate body for running an investigation.
The inquest will be held in South Hedland.
- Category: DUAO - 2015 - Vol 40(3)