Inquest into prison van death moves to Glebe court

A coronial inquest
into Mark Holcroft’s death in custody moves to the Glebe Coroner’s Court today.

Mr Holcroft (pictured) was a low security inmate who died of a
heart attack while travelling in a NSW prison van between Bathurst Correctional
Centre and Tumbarumba on 27 August 2009.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is
representing three members of Mr Holcroft’s family at the Inquest.

The Inquest began last week in Wagga Wagga. It heard
evidence from the guards who were driving the van, and also from a former
prisoner, Andrew Bond, who was one of several prisoners inside the van when Mr
Holcroft died.

Mr Bond told the Inquest there was no way to
communicate with the guards who were driving the van, so inmates started to
yell, wave at security cameras and rock the prisoner compartment to alert them.

One of the guards, Clive Bateman, told the inquest he heard the noise but assumed
the commotion was because the inmates were getting bored.

PIAC chief executive officer, Edward Santow, said the
Inquest is expected to hear evidence this week about Mr Holcroft’s medical
condition and the treatment he received in prison in the week before his death
after he complained of chest pains.

‘Mr Holcroft’s death not only  raises questions about the transport of
prisoners; it also raises questions about of the quality of  health care recieved by prisoners in
NSW,’ Mr Santow said.


PIAC Media
Officer, Dominic O’Grady. Ph: (02) 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169.


PIAC is an
independent, non-profit law and policy organisation. PIAC works for a fair,
just and democratic society, by taking strategic action on public interest


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