A group of at least 12 prison guards who were caught on camera pinning down an Indigenous inmate days before his sudden death are refusing to co-operate with police, an inquest has been told.
Wayne Fella Morrison, 29, was restrained by guards and transported face down in a van to court from Yatala Prison in northern Adelaide in September 2016.
He was restrained after he attacked prison guards while he was on remand waiting for a home detention bail hearing, the ABC reported.
Three minutes after being loaded into the van, Morrison was pulled out ‘blue and unresponsive’, the court heard. He died in hospital three days later.
CCTV footage, shown to the South Australia’s Coroners Court, Wayne Morrison can be seen being pinned down by guards as a dozen swarm the room
Mr Morrison had a spit mask on his face and his legs and arms had been restrained before being put into the van, the court heard.
During the first day of an inquest CCTV footage was shown to the South Australia’s Coroners Court.
In the video, Morrison can be seen being pinned down by guards as a dozen swarm the room, moments before being loaded into the van.
There was no CCTV footage recorded inside the car and seven of the eight guards who were in the van have refused to provide a statement to police, the court heard.
Wayne Fella Morrison, 29, (pictured) died three days after being restrained by guards and transported face down in the prison van at Yatala Prison in northern Adelaide in September 2016
Wayne Fella Morrison, 29, (pictured) became unresponsive while being transported to maximum, with guards noticing him change colour
Morrison became unresponsive while being transported, with guards noticing him change colour, the inquest heard.
CPR was performed three minutes after he was removed from the van.
He suffered a heart attack and multiple organ failure.
Multiple factors may have contributed to Morrison’s death, according to medical experts.
Counsel assisting the court, Anthony Crocker, said: ‘What occurred during that period of just under three minutes will be a matter of interest in this inquest.’
‘Police were unable to establish a forward command just inside the prison for several hours after their initial request to do so,’ Mr Crocker said.
‘There is also concern that those DCS (Department of Correctional Services) officers who remained on site were grouped together after the incident,’ he said.
The inquest is expected to go for five weeks. At least 70 people have been called to give evidence.
All the guards who refused to proved a statement to police have been summonsed.
An inmate died after being restrained by guards and transported face down in the prison van at Yatala Prison (pictured) in northern Adelaide in September 2016