Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Anthony William KUSTER

Inquest into the Death of Anthony William KUSTER

Delivered on :9 October 2017

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased was a 44 year old man in a fragile homosexual relationship at the time of his death. That relationship had been in place for approximately 18 years, however, it is apparent the deceased and his partner had numerous issues to address with respect to the future stability of their relationship.

There were issues surrounding the deceased’s death which warranted DETAILED investigation in an attempt to clarify timelines and whether others may have been involved in the death.

The inquest heard evidence the deceased’s lifestyle encouraged the use of drugs, especially those based on amphetamines. The deceased needed antidepressants which supported the probability the deceased was having some difficulty coping with certain aspects of his life.

On 30 April 2013 the deceased made arrangements for him and his partner to enjoy the company of a person with whom the deceased knew his partner was comfortable. The deceased’s partner had a work commitment that morning which he would not interrupt.  Two other males attended at the premises and the situation had become awkward.  The deceased contacted his partner wanting him to come home to assist him with the event.  The deceased’s partner returned home after 3pm where he found the deceased collapsed with a tourniquet around his neck.  The deceased had spoken to his partner very shortly before his partner arrived home.

The Deputy State Coroner noted when the deceased’s partner released the tourniquet the colour returned to the deceased’s face which implies congestion had only recently occurred. The deceased’s partner then walked away, believing the deceased would recover and became fixated on the deceased’s telephone to try and explain the events of the day.  When the deceased’s partner realised over an hour later the deceased was not recovering he commenced CPR to revive the deceased and called the St John Ambulance.  Unfortunately the deceased could not be revived.

The Deputy State Coroner was satisfied the combination of drugs used by the deceased during the course of the morning and his use of a ligature to obstruct blood flow to his brain, for whatever reason, was the cause of the deceased’s death. The Deputy State Coroner was of the view it was more likely to be accidental in that he did not intend to die, however, the deceased had previously made comments about wanting to disappear in a ‘puff of smoke’ and this related to the state of not only his personal relationship but also his work.  In that context the Deputy State Coroner was not able to determine the deceased’s intention and consequently made an Open Finding as to the manner of the deceased’s death.

Catch Words : Ligature Compression of the neck and methylamphetamine effect : Open Finding.

Last updated: 30-Apr-2019

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