• Caroline Andersen, the mother of Wayne Morrison, outside court in Adelaide. (AAP)Source: AAP
Her son died in custody after an altercation with prison guards left him 'blue and unresponsive'.
NITV Staff Writer

28 Aug 2018 - 4:46 PM  UPDATED 28 Aug 2018 - 4:55 PM

The mother of an Indigenous man who died in custody in Adelaide has told an inquest she hasn't seen video of her son's altercation with prison officers because it's "too painful to watch".

Caroline Anderson gave evidence at the inquest on Tuesday into the death of Wiradjuri man Wayne Fella Morrison in 2016.

Mr Morrison was in custody on assault charges and was being taken for a court appearance by video link when he became involved in a scuffle with officers, with a video shown to the court of him being restrained by up to 14 officers.

The 29-year-old man was placed in a prison van but was "blue and unresponsive" when he was pulled out shortly after.

The inquest was told there was no video from inside the van and prison officers inside the vehicle had refused to give statements.

Despite resuscitation attempts, Mr Morrison did not regain consciousness and died in hospital several days later.

Ms Anderson said she was concerned that officers involved had "blatantly refused to come forward".

She also told the inquest that as her son lay in a coma in hospital family members were never allowed to have time alone with him.

SA prison death “not just another death in custody”, says family
Wayne Morrison, a 29 year old Aboriginal father died Monday morning following an 'altercation' at the Yatala Labour Prison in South Australia.

Only two visitors were allowed at a time and guards remained present at all times, the inquest heard.

"We were never left by ourselves. You couldn't be yourself around him," Ms Anderson said.

"We were always being watched."

She said at one stage a female officer used her body to continually block her children from getting close to him.

"Wayne's dying at this time. He's taking his last breaths," Ms Anderson said.

The inquest heard previously that a crucial aspect of the inquest would involve what happened during the three minutes Mr Morrison was held in the prison van after the initial altercation.

"Precisely what occurred in the van is unknown as seven of the eight prison staff who accompanied him have declined to provide police with statements," Counsel Assisting Anthony Crocker said in his opening address on Monday.

Family says Wayne Morrison was 'unrecognisable' after death in custody in South Australia
The family of Wayne Fella Morrison, who died in custody last year, after a violent altercation with prison guards have given evidence to a committee.

'They want the truth'

George Newhouse, the lawyer acting for Mr Morrison’s family, said the video evidence showing Mr Morrison’s restraint by more than a dozen guards resembled a “pile on”.

“This a person’s life that’s at stake,” he told NITV News.

“I understand that guards have a job to do but this look liked an uncontrolled scene.”

He said that Mr Morrison’s family simply wants to find out what happened.

“They’ve been saying right from the start, they want the truth to be told,” he said.

“At the moment there’s some question whether some critical witnesses are going to appear in court and Wayne’s mother Caroline made a plea today from the witness box that they do give evidence so that she can understand what happened to her boy.

“They also want anyone responsible held accountable.”

The inquest is continuing.

With AAP

Inquest hears Wayne Morrison 'turned blue' before guards performed CPR
An inquest into an Aboriginal death in custody was shown footage of the man being restrained by up to 14 guards in the moments before his death.