Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Robert James (aka Philip Kevin Luckie and Robert John Coughlin)

Inquest into the death of Robert JAMES (aka Philip Kevin LUCKIE and Robert John COUGHLIN)

Delivered on : 21 November 2014

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Linton

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased was a 45 year old sentenced prisoner at the time of his death.  The deceased was a long-term intravenous drug user and was diagnosed with hepatitis C early in his life which he contracted from contaminated needle he had used and which proved resistant to treatment.  He developed a blood disorder.  As a result of the hepatitis C infection, the deceased developed cirrhosis of the liver and was suffering from that condition at the time he was imprisoned in 2010.

Medical progress notes record a general deterioration in the deceased’s health during his prison term.  During the last period of incarceration prior to his death, he was transferred to hospital on 51 separate occasions for appointments, emergencies and planned admissions.  On 24 January 2013 the deceased was admitted to Royal Perth Hospital with a serious infection and he developed renal failure.  He remained in hospital until his death.  The deceased was informed his prognosis was poor and he requested that he be classified as “Not for Resuscitation”.

On 1 February 2013 the deceased’s condition continued to deteriorate and he passed away that evening.

The inquest focused primarily on the care provided to the deceased while a prisoner, both within the custodial environment and while he was admitted at the hospital.

The Coroner was satisfied that there was nothing that the Department for Corrective Services did or failed to do that contributed to the deceased’s death.

The Coroner found that the manner of death was by way of Natural Causes.

Catch Words : Death in Custody – Natural Causes

Last updated: 17-Jan-2024

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