Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Garth Cyril HEAVEN

Inquest into the Death of Garth Cyril HEAVEN

Delivered on :22 May 2019

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Jenkin

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : At the time of his death, the deceased was a sentenced prisoner in the custody of the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Corrective Services, as it then was. He was 57 years of age.

The inquest focused on the care provided to the deceased while he was a prisoner, as well as on the circumstances of his death.

While in prison the deceased was noted to be quiet, polite and respectful. He had placements at Hakea Prison, Casuarina Prison and Acacia Prison. The deceased was employed in prison metal shops and later as a gardener. He remained employed until he could no longer work because of his medical condition.

Following blood tests in December 2015 which showed he had anaemia, the deceased was referred for a colonoscopy to check for gastro-intestinal bleeding. He declined to have the colonoscopy but a chest x-ray in January 2016 identified a lesion in his right lung and he was referred for further tests. In February 2016 the deceased was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer and he received radiotherapy. On 23 March 2016, the deceased was registered as Stage III terminally ill under the departmental policy dealing with prisoners with terminal illnesses.

On 27 May 2016 the deceased complained of back pain and was taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital by ambulance. He was noted to have bony metastases which had been seen during a PET scan on 11 February 2016. After treatment for pain by the palliative team, the deceased was discharged to the infirmary at Casuarina Prison. On 17 July 2016, the deceased’s condition deteriorated and he was again taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital by ambulance. The deceased remained at Fiona Stanley Hospital until 25 July 2016, when he was transferred to the hospice at Bethesda Hospital for end-of-life care. The deceased died on 26 July 2016.

Having regard to all of the circumstances of the deceased’s case, the Coroner found that the supervision, treatment and care provided to the deceased during his incarceration was reasonable and appropriate.

Catch Words : Death in Custody : Supervision, treatment and care : Natural Causes.

Last updated: 30-May-2019

[ back to top ]