Coroners Act In the matter of Coronial Findings and Recommendation into the Death of Mr Owen King pursuant to section 46B dated 3 December 2003
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Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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20. In the case of the deceased, he was of the view after speaking with the deceased and going through the assessment that: He seemed fine, he seemed to be affected by alcohol and that was his only problem. 21. Norris accordingly marked Y (yes) for intoxication and N (no) for the remaining criteria. He frankly conceded that he could not recall the actual conversation he had with the deceased, however, he believed he would have assessed him as he did all others and had he become aware of a problem or believed that the deceased was not intoxicated he would have taken whatever action was appropriate, be that referring the matter to his superior or obtaining medical treatment for the deceased. 22 . The deceased was then placed in cell 17. Regular cell checks were conducted as prescribed by the Custody manual between 5.00am and 7.00am when Norris handed over to Auxiliary Ward. 23. Although Norris cannot recall doing so, I find that he did inform Auxiliary Ward that the deceased was breathing unusually. Ward recalls being informed, however, neither made a note of this irregularity in the custody log as they should have. Sergeant Potts came on duty as the Watch Commander at 7.00am and shortly thereafter he conducted a cell check. He observed that the deceased was breathing heavily and determined to enter the cell to check on him. Potts did enter the cell and woke the deceased. He spoke with the deceased and believed that his breathing although heavy was not a cause for concern and that the deceased did not need medical attention. It was after he had entered the cell that Ward informed him that Norris had noticed the deceaseds breathing also. Again no notation was made in the log about the deceaseds breathing. 24. Constable Barry who was on duty with Ward and Potts conducted the next two cell checks and found the deceased asleep on the first check and awake on the second. Ward conducted a cell check at 8.30am and 8.45am. On 10
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