DPP at it again – no charges on death in custody

This decision is as outrageous as the cowardly decision taken by the queensland dpp in the mulrunji doomadgee death on palm island in 2004. to protect then s/s chris hurley from facing charges the qld. dpp overturned the recommendations of a/state coroner, christine clements, bravely found ( some would say foolishly found) that hurley definitely had a legal case to answer.

The outrage of the family, the palm island community, other aboriginal and torres strait islander communities and all right-thinking peoples forced the dpp attempt to save hurley from prosecution to be overturned band hurley faced trial.

As we all know an all-white townsville jury exonerated him of any blame in the death of doomadgee.

Our esteemed elder, mr ward, was the victim of ignorance and racism by the white custodial system. upon his arrest he came before a new justice of the peace who should have bailed to appear in court, instead he accepted the police recommendation that he be transported 600 kilometres from laverton to Kalgoorlie to face court there.

In 42 degree celsius summer heat this was done. the transport van had no workable air-conditioning for the back of the van and it is stated that the temperature in the van exceeded 50 degrees celsius. mr ward was literally ‘cooked’ to death!

To be forced to wait some 2 1/2 years and then to be ‘kicked in the guts’ by the system that is supposed to seek justice for all is in itself a travesty of justice for mr ward’s family.

The g4s personnel who escorted mr ward on that day acted with absolute callous indifference as to whether he lived or died on that trip. their duty of care to mr ward was non-existent.

Nina stockoe and graham powell are as responsible for the death of mr ward as then s/s hurley is responsible for the death of mulrunji doomadgee.

Our collective voices, raised in righteous anger, must overturn the decision of the wa dpp, joe mcgrath, to ignore the recommendations of the wa state coroner, alistair hope, who rightly found that slockoe and powell did have a case to answer. both must face some level of manslaughter charges. at least.

Also g4s and the wa department of corrective services must also face intensive questioning on their role and responsibilities for the death of mr ward.

It is very telling that the coroner, whilst recommending legal action be taken in his scathing report, also advised the family not to get their hopes up that justice would indeed prevail. merely another sickening example of the racist (non) justice system in action.

Black deaths count for nothing!

Blood money, conscience money, wash-your-hands money is not enough. they have the money, we have the sorry-business.

We want justice! nothing more, nothing less. deaths in custody will not stop until someone is found to be fully responsible for that death. hurley snaked out with the great assistance of his corrupt legal system. slockoe and powell must have their day in court facing the family of mr ward and explain their criminal actions

WA contacts are given below to put your protests to the dpp decision. it must be over-turned.


Outrage over no charges being laid! “This is institutionalised racism at its worse!!” – DICWC

Dear Friends & Supporters;

The Western Australian Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) flew to Warburton over the weekend and advised the family that no criminal charges will be laid in relation to the death in custody of Mr Ward due to a so-called ‘lack of evidence’.

The Deaths In Custody Watch Committee (WA) Inc calls on people across the country to express their outrage to the WA Premier, Hon Colin Barnett MLA, the WA Attorney General and Minister for Corrective Services Hon Christian Porter MLA and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as a matter of urgency.

It is outrageous that a significant Aboriginal Elder and Leader can be killed at the hands of the State and its contractor G4S under the most horrendous circumstances and yet no one is held criminally culpable.

This is institutionalised racism at its worst!

There will be widespread community outrage across the nation if those responsible are not held to account. The Deaths In Custody Watch Committee (WA) Inc will be calling an urgent demonstration of community outrage at the decision.

Express your outrage…contact;


Honourable Colin Barnett MEc MLA

Premier; Minister for State Development

Address: 24th Floor, Governor Stirling Tower, 197 St Georges Terrace PERTH WA 6000

Telephone: 9222 9888

Fax: 9322 1213

E-Mail: wa-government

Web: http://www.premier.wa.gov.au/Ministers/Colin-Barnett/Pages/Contact-The-M…


Honourable Christian Porter MLA

Attorney General & Minister for Corrective Services

Telephone: (08) 9316 0666

Fax (08) 9316 0300

Email christian.porter

Web: http://www.christianporter.com.au/

Postal: Locked Bag 2000, BOORAGOON WA 6954

Office: Suite 12 Riseley Corporate Centre (above the ANZ bank), 135 Riseley Street, BOORAGOON WA 6154.


Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Level 1, “International House”
26 St Georges Terrace

Telephone: (08) 9425 3999
Freecall for country callers: 1800 264 144
Facsimile: (08) 9425 3600

E-mail: dpp

Web: http://www.dpp.wa.gov.au/frames.asp?pageId=u3458965&content=/content/con…



Corporate Head Office:
G4S plc, The Manor
Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex
RH10 9UN United Kingdom

+44 (0) 20 8770 7000
or +44 (0) 20 8722 2000

On line Contact Form: http://www.g4s.com/en/Site%20Tools/Contact%20Form/

Media Enquiries:
The G4S Press Office is available 24 hours a day on +44 (0) 7973 672 649 or email media

Web: http://www.g4s.com/

ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

2 thoughts on “DPP at it again – no charges on death in custody

  1. The Progressive Spirituality Network invites you to a lecture and discussion

    “An overview of the Oodgeroo Treaty Circle process and Cultural Heritage Education Program (CHEP).” Presented by John Tracey

    Sunday July 11 6.30 pm
    At the West End Uniting Church
    Corner of Vulture and Sussex St. West End

    The “Oodgeroo of the tribe Noonuccal, Custodian of the land Minjerribah, Peace, Prosperity and healing, Sacred Treaty Circles” is a process of peace and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people within the frameworks of Aboriginal sovereignty and customary law. It is not a reconciliation process of “meeting in the middle” but of non-Aboriginal people locating themselves within Aboriginal reality and participating in and learning from Aboriginal ways of being.

    The Cultural Heritage Education Program (CHEP) was devised by Oodgeroo and her son Bejam through “Alcheringa Incarcerated People’s Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (IPCHAC)”, an Aboriginal prisoners’ organisation that formed in Boggo Rd. prison in 1988, growing out of the prison riots of the 80s, the consequent Kennedy inquiry into prisons and during Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in custody.

    The IPCHAC CHEP was designed primarily to reconnect Aboriginal prisoners with their culture, land and family however many non-Aboriginal prisoners participated in the process proving the Aboriginal methodology for healing was also appropriate for non-Aboriginal people.

    As a result of the CHEP, the “Queensland Indeterminate Sentenced Prisoners Association (QUISPA)”, the Boggo Road lifer’s organisation, became a sub-committee of IPCHAC, thus institutionalizing peace between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal prisoners where there had previously been racial tension.

    IPCHAC went on to present the CHEP outside of prison, with lecturers on day release, to West End Aboriginal organisations as well as to staff and students at Griffith University.

    Oodgeroo’s son Bejam, the coordinator and principle lecturer of the IPCHAC CHEP, has continued presenting the CHEP program to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community groups and individuals based on Oodgeroo’s country and law.


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