Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Wayne Frederick LEESE

Inquest into the Death of Wayne Frederick LEESE


Delivered on : 8 October 2020

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Urquhart

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : On 20 May 2018 Mr Leese died at St John of God Hospital, Midland. At the time of his death Mr Leese was a sentenced prisoner. He was 54 years of age. 

On the afternoon of 4 May 2018, Mr Leese was attending a class in the prison education centre at Acacia Prison where he fell and bumped his head on a wall and began having a seizure for approximately 20 seconds. A decision was made by prison medical staff to have Mr Leese conveyed to hospital. He was transferred by ambulance to St John of God Hospital Midland. He was diagnosed with encephalopathy (damage or disease to the brain) secondary to decompensated liver disease, ascites (fluid in the abdomen) due to liver failure, urinary retention, chest infection and sepsis. Blood tests showed a very low sodium level and a CT scan showed early cerebral oedema (brain swelling). Mr Leese was intubated and admitted to St John of God Hospital, Midland's intensive care unit in an induced coma. 

On 6 May 2018, a further diagnosis of a right-lower lobe chest infection was made and this was treated with intravenous antibiotics. The following day his left-lower lobe collapsed and on 8 May 2018 Mr Leese’s poor prognosis was confirmed after a review by a hepatologist. On 15 May 2018 Mr Leese developed signs of left-sided pneumonia and his condition was upgraded to critical. On 18 May 2018 a decision was taken, in conjunction with his family, to move Mr Leese into the palliative care unit at St John of God Hospital, Midland where he died on 20 May 2018. 

The Coroner was satisfied that Mr Leese’s various medical conditions were appropriately managed and that the standard of supervision, treatment and care he received while he was in custody was reasonable. 

Catch Words : Death in Custody : Co-morbidities : Supervision, Treatment and Care : Natural Causes

Last updated: 24-Jan-2022

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