Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of FJ (Name Subject to Suppression Order)

Inquest into the Death of FJ (Name Subject to Suppression Order)

Delivered on :25 March 2021

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Linton

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

The deceased’s name is suppressed from publication.  The deceased should be referred to as FJ and there should be no details published that might lead to the identification of FJ’s child.

Summary : FJ was born in Iran and made her way by boat to Australia.  She arrived in Australia as an unauthorised maritime arrival on 23 July 2012.  Prior to her arrival in Australia she was reportedly diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder and possibly schizophrenia in Iran.  FJ was held in immigration detention after her arrival in Australia.

FJ arrived in Australia with a male partner and initially they sought asylum as a couple and they were granted a residence together to place them into community detention on 10 December 2012.  However, FJ’s relationship ended following a domestic violence incident.  On 12 January 2013 FJ presented to RPH after an alleged assault by her partner.  In May/June 2013 she was reported to have impulsive suicidal thoughts, including wanting to stab herself in the abdomen after her boyfriend had refused to marry her and broke up with her.  A psychiatric review on 27 August 2013 indicated that she had not taken any of her medication as she did not believe in medications.  She reported she had recently started psychotherapy with ASeTTS and refused to start any regular medication but agreed to take some prescribed medication on an “as needed” basis.

Around the beginning of January 2014 FJ fell pregnant but it does not seem her psychiatrist was aware of her pregnancy at the time of discharge from psychiatric services.  In July 2014 FJ told her family in Iran that she was pregnant but would not reveal the identity of the father.  FJ’s mental health deteriorated significantly during her pregnancy.  She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and became an involuntary patient at Bentley Hospital.  In October 2014, FJ was transferred from Bentley Hospital to King Edward Hospital where she gave birth to a son.  Concerns were raised about her ability to safely care for her baby.  The Department for Child Protection and Family Support took her son into care and placed him in foster care in December 2014.

FJ was reviewed with her son in mid-2015 and on 31 May 2016 both FJ and her son were granted temporary protection visas.

Concerns were raised about FJ’s son’s safety again in early June 2016 and he was taken back into care at the end of June 2016.  FJ’s mental health deteriorated and on 18 July 2016 she was admitted to a psychiatric ward at RPH.  FJ discharged herself against medical advice.  She was not referred to a clinic on discharge and she did not receive any specialist psychiatric care before her death.  She struggled to cope with the fact her son remained in care.

In October 2016 FJ indicated her intention to return to Iran and said she was willing to leave her son in Australia in the care of the DCP.  On 12 November 2016 FJ spent the day with her boyfriend.  She was upset because of the problems she was experiencing with her son and with immigration.  He attempted to support and reassure her.  Her boyfriend left FJ at her unit at about 8.15pm and he thought she was in a happier mood at that time.

Just after midnight on 13 November 2016, FJ placed a chair against the wall of the balcony of her unit, which was situated on the sixth floor of a building.  FJ jumped from the balcony and landed on the ground below.  She died from multiple injuries she sustained in the fall.

The Deputy State Coroner found FJ on the night of her death appears to have made an impulsive decision to end her life by jumping from the balcony of her unit.  The Deputy State Coroner found her death occurred by way of suicide

The inquest considered the transition of medical care for FJ, from her release from immigration detention on a protection bias, and ways this could be improved.

Catch Words : Mental Health Issues for Detainees : Department for Child Protection and Family Support :

Last updated: 11-May-2021

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