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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



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 paper 1290


Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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the day/night of 22 June and probably into the morning of 23 June 2002. I am of the view that when he was firstly apprehended on the morning of 23 June the deceased was intoxicated, notwithstanding the toxicological results. Even if he was not at that time he would have appeared to the police to be intoxicated to such a degree as to warrant his apprehension pursuant to S128. I also make no criticism of the second apprehension although I find that it is highly unlikely that the deceased was intoxicated at the time. Again he would have been displaying all the indicia of intoxication and the apprehending police in my view acted appropriately. 36. Police officers albeit the holders of First Aid certificates are not medical personnel and it would be very difficult for even an experienced police officer to be able to discern between an unwell person and intoxicated person in the circumstances police found the deceased. 37. Constable Hamilton is to be commended for her accurate assessment that the deceased was unwell, and for her prompt action in taking him straight to hospital, and I so recommend. 38. As I indicated earlier in these findings I should comment on the role of Sobering Up Shelters. I note the following evidence and comments that flowed at the Inquest (transcript p .7) of Ms McDades summary of Police inabilitys to access the sobering up shelter. As I previously indicated the deceased was initially apprehended by police and taken into custody, pursuant to section 128 of the Police Administration Act at 4:53am on 23 June. He was apprehended by Constables Doyle and Williams. They found him asleep on the footpath outside the Alice Springs Post Office. They roused him and ascertained who he was. Doyle, in his interview with Senior Sergeant Nixon, says, amongst other things, I observed that he was showing some signs of intoxication. He smelt heavily of liquor. He was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Doyle also 16