Investigations

Exclusive: CCTV footage raises serious questions about prison officers

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In 2013, 33-year-old Sony Tran-Bui, known to family as Bobo, entered a NSW prison. Ten days later he was dead. In an exclusive investigation, The Feed has obtained CCTV footage of Bobo’s final hours in his cell – footage that has some people questioning whether his death could have been avoided.

The NSW Corrective Services were not counting on Bobo’s sister Anh to question the circumstances surrounding her brother’s death. “Our dad did not send us to university for us to be lazy about things that are most important – family,” says Anh.

“If it hadn't been for [Anh], it would have all been hunky dory, brilliant. We've done our job. No fingers to be pointed. So a family member, by persistence and effort, has brought this to light,” says Dr Johan Van Den Bogaerde’s, the medical expert Anh appointed to review Bobo’s coronial inquest.

In the days leading up to Bobo’s death, he complained of mid-thoracic back pain, goosebumps, shivers and vomiting. A nurse diagnosed his symptoms as ‘drug detoxing.’ We now know he was suffering from something far more serious. Bobo died in a medical observation cell – a cell supposed to be under constant video observation.

- Was anyone monitoring the CCTV vision that night and, if so, why didn’t they respond?

- Why was Bobo not examined by a doctor in the days prior to his death?

- Why did the correctional officers who checked on him not attempt to speak to him, despite him being hunched over? 

Bobo birthday
Sony 'Bobo' Tran-Bui celebrating his child's birthday.
Supplied

When Anh was reviewing the coronial inquest, some things didn’t stack up. “When one of the nurses tries to imitate my brother they put on an Asian accent. I mean, is this for real? We've been educated in Australia. He certainly does not have that accent.”

- What role did racial profiling play in Bobo’s death?

- Were Bobo’s medical needs neglected?

- If Bobo got the help he needed, would he still be alive today?

 

Watch the investigation above.