Image: AAP Image/Supplied by Kerr family
A warning, the following story contains the name and image of an Aboriginal person who has died.
In Victoria an inquest into the 2022 death in custody of an Aboriginal man has heard he was ‘visibly unresponsive for 17 minutes’ before staff responded.
32-year-old Yorta Yorta Gunaikurnai man Joshua Kerr died while on remand at Port Phillip prison on August 10 2022.
A coroner’s court inquest into his death began this week.
It’s heard that in the hours before his death, Kerr lit a fire in his prison cell and was transferred to hospital for burns treatment.
He was then transported back to prison before being formally discharged from hospital, despite disclosing to hospital staff that he had taken methamphetamine.
Over the next few hours staff observed via CCTV his increasingly erratic behaviour, including flailing his limbs while on the ground and removing all his clothing.
He later called out “I’m dying” but there was no response from prison staff.
He became completely unresponsive at 8:01pm and a medical emergency was called by staff – but nobody entered his cell for another 17 minutes.
He was pronounced dead by paramedics 22 minutes later.
The inquest continues.