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ACT government commissions review of suicide attempt

By Thumper - 14 July 2008 68

[First filed: July 08, 2008 @ 09:05]

The ACT Government has commissioned two independent reviews of how a suicidal woman tried to hang herself with a seatbelt in the back of a Corrective Services van as she was driven from the ACT Magistrates Court to Belconnen Remand Centre.

Last night, the 42-year-old Fadden woman remained in Calvary Hospital’s intensive care unit with severe brain damage.

The hospital listed her condition as critical, her family yet to decide whether to disconnect life support.

Canberra Times article here.

UPDATE: The ABC reports that the woman has passed away.

Further update: minime2 had this to say:

    This from me, who used to do this job in ACT court transport; so first-hand info here.

    Transporting remandees from courts to Belconnen RC is done by by one of two vans available at the time. One has rear inside camera, the other does not. It is a 15 minute trip; remandees are handcuffed in front of their body and have a lap-sash belt. In the afternoon, the process tends to be a “hurry up and get them there” before 4pm knock off.

    So, here we have what I will term a “lazy” C/Service control-room senior officer in charge of transport and the teams that take them (also to Quamby and Symonston). He would have been informed of the court’s ruling re “at risk” status. Whether he was “aware” is another thing. Whether he cared is definitely questionable.

    Why lazy? Because he actually had options. Put them all in the same van as per usual (the genders are seperated as the “cell” inside the van is partitioned into sections) or, as the remandee has openly declared (further)intent to kill self, and has been certified a person at risk (of same) by the Court – the Controller could (should) have her transported her otherwise -in the Falcon S/W with driver and another officer in the rear alongside handcuffed and seatbelted person would be an option. But that would take time to arrange and maybe go past 1600hrs. Post #51 is correct; the transporting officers were doing what they were told [by a Controller trying to stay in budget and not allow any overtime]. They may not have even been in the court and were told little of the remandees status. That will now bite Controller in the bum (read: career) badly. But not as badly as the lady in question. A cover-up in the making; no, I think they will bury him big time!

    The “Organ donor” posts are a good reason why this site is so barren of numbers and sensible, cognitive input. So many posts by so many who know f***-all about what they sprout. Maybe the site should be confined to “best coffee shops” as the limit of intellectual input.

Another Update: ACT Policing report that they are investigating and will prepare a brief for the coroner.

What’s Your opinion?


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68 Responses to
ACT government commissions review of suicide attempt
S4anta 3:26 pm 08 Jul 08

Thumper said :

unlike a lot of other politicians in this region who shoot from the mouth first.

Commenters, this includes you

Thumper 3:17 pm 08 Jul 08

There is no cover up. No-one has denied it or nor has in anyway tried to hide it or divert attention anywhere else.

Corbell is probably waiting for a full briefing before speaking, unlike a lot of other politicians in this region who shoot from the mouth first.

tylersmayhem 2:46 pm 08 Jul 08

Unless the media take a particular shine to this story and keep running with it, we won’t hear much more about it! I’m sure that media outlets are hushed from time to time too.

And before you ask…no, I’m not a conspiracy Theorist. 😉

Mike Crowther 2:15 pm 08 Jul 08

I can’t see a cover-up happening. Any death in custody requires a coroner’s inquiry. Even this government wasn’t able to shut down a coronial inquest when it so desired.

I did note however that the ACT apparently hasn’t bothered to train any of its own people up to the requisite standard needed to conduct an internal operational review. This has been out-sourced to NSW. Is this what the Minister defines as ‘state of the art’ in the management of the new prison?

peterh 12:46 pm 08 Jul 08

tylersmayhem said :

Let me guess…there will be an entire cover-up of any wrong doing by the corrective services?! Just like the poor bastard that was shot dead on the London Underground days after the bombings. There was a massive cover-up, and no charges or responsibility taken.

Unfortunately the woman involved sounds like she would have made another attempt at one time or another, but those in charge of transporting and holding her must have a duty of care to monitor her and make sure any attempts of self harm are minimised. Considering that she had just threatened to take her life in a court appearance, then she was put in the back of a van unattended raises questions to me.

what a good point. If she was on death watch – from suicide attempts, wouldn’t someone be sitting with her, or at least have restrained her to prevent her from causing self harm?

Snahons_scv6_berlina 12:38 pm 08 Jul 08

so why 2 independent reviews ? – just in case they don’t like one ?

p1 12:37 pm 08 Jul 08

Do her a favour and unplug her and harvest her body parts. Give her a chance to contribute to society.

prompted this

Smokey4, you have some information about the case that nobody else does? For example, what her crime is/was? Who she is? What prompted her to attempt suicide?

If not, STFU.

but while a little coldly expressed, I think that the comment is valid one for any person on life support regardless of how they got there. If there is no chance of recovery from brain injury (and I have no idea if it is the case here) then organ donation is much better then taking up a bed for days, months, years…

tylersmayhem 12:05 pm 08 Jul 08

Let me guess…there will be an entire cover-up of any wrong doing by the corrective services?! Just like the poor bastard that was shot dead on the London Underground days after the bombings. There was a massive cover-up, and no charges or responsibility taken.

Unfortunately the woman involved sounds like she would have made another attempt at one time or another, but those in charge of transporting and holding her must have a duty of care to monitor her and make sure any attempts of self harm are minimised. Considering that she had just threatened to take her life in a court appearance, then she was put in the back of a van unattended raises questions to me.

chaton 11:20 am 08 Jul 08

can people not try to commit suicide wherever they are, van or otherwise?

mooliganbags1 10:59 am 08 Jul 08

Nyssa76 – While no doubt good advice, it was an ACT Corrections van. Not a Police van. It’s two seperate organisations.

fnaah 10:27 am 08 Jul 08

Smokey4, you have some information about the case that nobody else does? For example, what her crime is/was? Who she is? What prompted her to attempt suicide?

If not, STFU.

Thumper 10:24 am 08 Jul 08
caf 10:16 am 08 Jul 08

The link to the CT article is bust.

nyssa76 10:01 am 08 Jul 08

So my advice TWO YEARS AGO to ACT Police about being able to do that fell on deaf ears….

I won’t go into why I had to offer said advice but it was like a bloody no brainer.

smokey4 9:46 am 08 Jul 08

Do her a favour and unplug her and harvest her body parts. Give her a chance to contribute to society.

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