Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Desmond Richard KICKETT

Inquest into the Death of Desmond Richard KICKETT

Delivered on : 31 July 2020

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Jenkin

Recommendations :Yes

Recommendation No. 1

The Police should take all necessary steps to ensure that all passenger pods attached to police vehicles are fitted with cameras capable of recording CCTV footage and that footage should be recorded whenever a person is placed into the passenger pod.

Recommendation No. 2

The Police should take all necessary steps to ensure that all passenger pods attached to police vehicles are fitted with lighting that switches on as soon as a person is placed into the pod, and stays on. The lighting should be designed so as not to drain the police vehicle’s batter, so that the light can remain on even when the vehicle is stationary, in the event that there is any delay at the scene.

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

On the basis that it would be contrary to the public interest, I make an order that there be no reporting or publication of the details of any of the versions of the WA Police Emergency Driving Policy and Guidelines, including, but not limited to, any cap on the speed at which police officers are authorised to drive.


Summary : Immediately before his death, Mr Kickett was involved in a violent incident at his former partner’s house which police attended. Mr Kickett died at Royal Perth Hospital on 29 June 2018, from multiple organ failure following cardiorespiratory arrest in a man with focal coronary arteriosclerosis and amphetamine effect. He was 34 years of age.

On the evening of 28 June 2018 Mr Kickett’s ex-partner was at home with three of her children when Mr Kickett arrived unexpectedly and knocked at the front door. There had been a history of family domestic violence by Mr Kickett and some more recent threats, and for that reason, his ex-partner did not allow him inside the house. Mr Kickett told his ex-partner he had come to collect a car he had loaned her, but she told him to come back the next day as the car was not there.

Mr Kickett then asked for a smoking implement which his ex-partner understood to mean he wanted something he could use to smoke methylamphetamine with. She gave him a light glbe to get rid of him and Mr Kickett left the premises. Mr Kickett’s ex-partner helped the children to bed and retired herself at about 2.00 am on 29 June 2018. Sometime later, the family were woken by a loud bang as Mr Kickett smashed his way through a glass sliding door at the rear of the house and came inside. He then tried to force his way into the main bedroom where his ex-partner and two of children were hiding. She begged him to stop what he was doing and he eventually did so and lay on the floor in the hallway outside the main bedroom door. Mr Kickett was naked and moving about on the floor. Mr Kickett’s ex-partner’s daughter and a neighbour called emergency services and asked for urgent police attendance.

Police arrived at the premises at about 6.21 am on 29 June 2018. They spoke with Mr Kickett’s ex-partner through her bedroom window and after jumping the side fence, entered the home through the smashed rear door. Police found Mr Kickett lying on his back in the shower recess in the bathroom, covered in what appeared to be liquid soap. He was rambling incoherently and moving about in an erratic manner. Police considered that Mr Kickett was under the influence of illicit drugs and needed to be taken into custody for a mental health assessment.

Police placed handcuffs on Mr Kickett, with his hands in front of his body and removed him from the house and secured him in the passenger pod of their police vehicle. Police called an ambulance, which was dispatched on a priority 2 basis. While police waited for the ambulance to arrive, they conducted enquiries and Mr Kickett was checked every minute or so. Shortly before 6.40 am, police noted that Mr Kickett’s breathing appeared to be shallower and he was removed from the passenger pod for assessment. Mr Kickett suddenly became unresponsive and police started CPR and asked for the urgent attendance of an ambulance. An ambulance arrived at the scene at 6.47 am and as he was being taken to Royal Perth Hospital, officers achieved a spontaneous return of circulation. As Mr Kickett was about to be admitted to the intensive care unit, he became difficult to ventilate and he could not be revived.

The Coroner made two recommendations in respect to the passenger pods attached to police vehicles.

The Coroner found that attending police did not contributed to Mr Kickett’s death and highlighted the dangers of using methylamphetamine, especially in cases like Mr Kickett’s, where the user has pre-existing heart disease.

Catch Words : Underlying Heart Condition : Use of Methylamphetamine : : CCTV footage in Passenger Pods of Police Vehicles : Excited Delirium : Accident

Last updated: 3-Mar-2021

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