Dowson Turco Lawyers welcomes the NSW State Coroner’s decision to hold a coronial inquest into the death of Jasmynd Gibbs

Media release
For immediate release 15 March 2022

Dowson Turco Lawyers (DTL) welcomes the NSW State Coroner’s decision to hold a coronial inquest into the death of Jasmynd Gibbs, an Indigenous man who died six weeks after being released on parole and, who was at the time of his death, under the supervision of NSW Community Corrections.

A request for an inquest into a person’s death, like that of Mr Gibbs, is subject to the powers of the NSW State Coroner under the Coroners Act 2009 (NSW). The objective of an inquest is to enable coroners to investigate certain kinds of deaths in order to determine the identities of the deceased persons, the times and dates of their deaths and the manner and cause of their deaths, but also to enable coroners to identify systemic failures in health, law enforcement or other services, and make recommendations to improve services in an effort to prevent similar deaths occurring in future.

DTL crime partner, Nicholas Stewart said, “It is in the public interest that an inquest be held into Mr Gibbs’ death because he died in circumstances, while on parole (and therefore under supervision of NSW Community Corrections). Mr Gibbs suffered a disability and died an unnatural death, despite being under the supervision of Community Corrections. Mr Gibbs’ family believe there was an enormous failure in post-release planning for Mr Gibbs.”

DTL managing partner, Stacey Dowson said, “While Mr Gibbs’ death did not occur when he was in custody, DTL is of the view that the definition of a death in custody must be expanded to post-release care, and so, it must be recognised that a duty of care does not cease on the day of release.”

Nicholas Stewart continued, “This is a matter of truth-telling for Mr Gibbs’ family. They have petitioned for an inquest because they believe Mr Gibbs’ death was preventable. Further, the family wants changes to the way inmates are managed upon release, and while on parole, and seeks to ensure that culturally appropriate supervision for Indigenous parolees is available on release.”

Media Contact: Matt Mitchell

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