• The family and supporters of Julieka Dhu outside court in Perth on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. Her grandmother Carol Roe (L) and mother Della Roe. (AAP)
The coronial inquest into the death in custody of Julieka Dhu has heard the Western Australian woman died from pneumonia and septicaemia.
By
Craig Quartermaine, NITV News

23 Nov 2015 - 4:21 PM  UPDATED 23 Nov 2015 - 6:07 PM

TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: The coronial inquest into the death in custody of Julieka Dhu has heard the Western Australian woman died from pneumonia and septicaemia.

On the inquest's first day of proceedings, Ms Dhu's family has viewed CCTV footage from the police watch house recorded on the night in question.

RELATED STORY
Dhu's family speaks out before WA inquest
On the eve of a coronial inquest, the family of Juliekha Dhu have again urged the West Australian government to change the law so people with unpaid fines are not locked up.

Ms Dhu died in 2014 after being detained under a controversial policy of paying off unpaid fines through time in jail.

The CCTV vision presented to the inquiry revealed Ms Dhu was heard groaning, and when questioned by police about her level of pain, she responded that it was equal to 10 out of 10.

Here's WA Correspondent Craig Quatermaine.

Craig Quartermaine, NITV News WA Correspondent: It's taken just over a year but the coronial inquest into the death of 24 year old Juliekha Dhu, who died following an arrest over unpaid fines in Port Hedland in WA's north, is underway here at Perth 's Central Law Courts.

RELATED STORY
Family continues urge for investigation into Dhu's death
It's been one year today since Julieka Dhu died in a South Hedland lock up after being arrested and detained over outstanding fines. Since her death, demonstrations across the country have continued to put pressure on the Western Australian government to provide answers. WA Correspondent Craig Quartermaine met with Ms Dhu's family on today's tragic anniversary.

This is a story that has gathered attention across the world and sparked protests across the country, and I got to speak to Julieka Dhu's uncle, Sean Harris, who has been the spokesperson for the family about the support that they have received over the last year and a half.

Sean Harris, Julieka Dhu's uncle, campaign spokesperson: Yeah feeling pretty sombre but content that now we know how big this is going to be, and all the campaigning we've been doing in the last 15 odd months or so since the fact.

Just really can't wait to get this underway so we can get our campaign for justice on the road properly.

Craig Quartermaine: Family members and supporters gathered at the front of the central law courts today for a smoking ceremony, and also to thank media who have covered the story as well as the support of people across the country.

Mr Harris believes this is just the first step of the coronial inquest but is glad to have made it this far.

Sean Harris: Well yeah it is a case of that to a degree, because we just don't want to get our hopes up too high you know. We get our hopes up as it is, as with a lot of people through the public sector, and the help from supporters, not just through WA, but nationally and internationally.

We have a lot of eyes and people watching how this inquest is going to roll out and which way.

Something has got to come out of this inquest, something workable, and something that will contribute to the truth and justice for Julieka, not for us, but for Julieka, to be able to rest in peace.

"Something has got to come out of this inquest, something workable, and something that will contribute to the truth and justice for Julieka, not for us, but for Julieka, to be able to rest in peace"

Craig Quartermaine: The deaths in custody watch committee has been a strong supporter of the Dhu family throughout the ordeal and I got to speak to Marc Newhouse from the Committee about their contribution to the inquest so far.

"Questions need to be answered and we expect a thorough, forensic examination"

Marc Newhouse, Deaths in Custody Watch Committee: Primarily we're here to support the family and also to watch and listen about what happens during the inquest. And questions need to be answered and we expect a thorough, forensic examination.

Craig Quartermaine: So while the family has achieved much in getting the inquest brought forward, it's really just the start of another drawn out painful process over the next two weeks.

Craig Quartermaine in Perth NITV News.