Police handovers were inadequate during Julieka Dhu's time in custody at a Pilbara watch-house in WA before she died there in 2014, the first week of police testimonies in a coronial inquest reveals.
Craig Quartermaine

18 Mar 2016 - 5:06 PM  UPDATED 18 Mar 2016 - 5:40 PM

Detective Nathan Nunn, who was at the time a constable at the watch-house, said a handover he received during a shift while Ms Dhu, 22, was in custody for four days at the South Hedland watch-house lacked detail.

He became emotional when asked what he would do differently if he could perform his shift over again.

“I would take her straight to the hospital and demand that she stay there,” he said.

He was one of several police witnesses who said handovers lacked detail during the period Ms Dhu was held in custody at the watch house in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Other officers testified they believed Ms Dhu was experiencing withdrawals from narcotics and that her moans of pain were exaggerated.

This was confirmed by CCTV footage shown to the inquest.

“She can’t feel her body, she can’t feel her legs, she can’t sit up, you name it. This is a good deterrent this is what happens when you take drugs,” Senior Constable Rick Bond says in reference to Ms Dhu at the watch house as heard in the CCTV footage.

The hearings also saw footage of Ms Dhu's multiple visits to the Port Hedland Health Campus, giving her family, who attended them, little relief from their heartbreak.

Fourteen police officers gave accounts this week. There will be four more witnesses giving evidence next week.

Julieka Dhu was detained for four days over failing to pay about $3,000 fines.