Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of JBA (Subject to Suppression Order)

Inquest into the Death of JBA

Delivered on :28 November 2016

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Linton

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

The deceased’s name and any evidence likely to lead to the deceased’s identification are suppressed from publication. The deceased is to be referred to as JBA

Summary : The deceased was born with a congenital condition which resulted in a number of serious health issues that affected him throughout his short life. His health deteriorated further as he grew older and in April 2015 he lapsed into a coma, from which he did not recover.  The deceased was 17 years of age at the time of his death.

At a young age the deceased was placed into the care of the Chief Executive Officer of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support for the period until he turned 18 years old. As he was nearing his 18th birthday, plans were being made for the deceased’s care to transfer to the Disability Services Commission.  However, as he died prior to his 18th birthday he was still in the care of the Department at the time of his death.  As a result, the deceased’s death came under the definition of a death of a “person held in care”, which requires the Coroners Court to hold an inquest hearing into the circumstances surrounding his death.

The deceased was born with severe global developmental delay and cerebral palsy. He was confined to a wheelchair and required permanent 24-hour care.  His mother had difficulties coping with his significant care needs, which led him to be placed in the care of the Department.  The deceased was placed by Department with a permanent foster family in Albany.  The Department provided equipment as needed and extra funding to assist with modifications to the house and respite care.

The deceased’s health deteriorated as he grew older. His spinal condition made it more difficult for him to breathe and he suffered from recurrent chest infections and increased epileptic seizures.  In April 2015 after a seizure, the deceased lapsed into a coma from which he did not recover.  He died on 26 May 2015.  His death appears to have been due to a natural progression of his condition.

The Coroner concluded that the evidence before the Court showed that the deceased was cared for by the same foster carers from 2003 until his death. His foster carers provided a safe, nurturing and caring environment for the deceased throughout his relatively short life.  They were still caring for him right up until the time of his death.  The Coroner was satisfied his care and supervision was appropriate and of a very high standard.

The Coroner found the deceased died on 26 May 2015 as a result of bronchopneumonia following epileptic seizure in a boy with a history of cerebral palsy and death occurred by way of natural causes.

Catch Words : Child placed in care : Child with multiple health issues: Natural Causes.

Last updated: 30-Apr-2019

[ back to top ]