• Leetona Dungay speaks. (Nancia Guivarra)Source: Nancia Guivarra
A peaceful but emotionally charged protest was held outside the NSW Correctional Services in Haymarket today to honour the anniversary of the death in custody of Dhunghutti man, David Dungay on 29th December 2015.
Nancia Guivarra

22 Dec 2016 - 5:56 PM  UPDATED 8 Nov 2017 - 11:34 AM

A crowd of around 80 people gathered in peaceful protest yesterday to remember 26-year-old David Dungay from Kempsey in New South Wales died in Sydney's Long Bay Jail Hospital.

Mr Dungay died while in Long Bay prison serving an 8 year sentence for home invasion and sexual assault.

At the time he was receiving treatment for type 2 diabetes and schizophrenia. A health report says that David had argued with the prison guards and refused a demand to stop eating biscuits. He was then taken to a room with CCTV and the footage shows David was held down by prison guards and injected with the drug medazolam. 

Long Bay rally planned for David Dungay
More than 200 people are expected to gather at Sydney’s Long Bay Prison on Saturday to protest David Dungay’s death in custody.

It was reported that David said he could not breathe and he died 90 seconds later.  

David's mum Leetona Dungay said being a diabetic meant that David needed the biscuits to stabilise his blood sugars.

"He always carried jelly beans and biscuits so he could look after himself but in prison they just don't look after you properly," she told the crowd.

"The officer knew that David Jnr was a diabetic, but still he ordered him to stop eating the biscuit and David was unable to comply with his order."

An internal investigation by NSW Corrective Services found no criminal negligence but the family have demanded a full and independent investigation.

"It's hard to believe that in Australia this type of thing is still happening... There's too many mothers like me who have lost their sons. This is our land!  No more young Aboriginal men like my beautiful son David should die in jail. That's how we can best honour my son's memory." said Leetona Dungay.

At the time of his death, NSW Corrective Services released a statement stating that the police were not treating his death as suspicious but some family members dispute that.

Many of his extended clan travelled by train from the Mid North Coast to stand beside Leetona and call for justice.

The speakers included Paul Silva who read a poem, strong words from David's cousin, Lizzie Jarrett, his older brother Ernie Dungay and Aunty Cynthia.

David's family said the lack of clarity regarding the reports around his death are distressing and they are concerned and suspicious about the cause of his death.

The failure to get answers is a major concern says his legal representative, Duncan Fine from the National Justice Project.

"The matter has been going incredibly slowly," he said. "A brief of evidence has only just been filed last week by the police with the Coroner’s Court."

"It's taken a whole year to get that together and understandably, and now, for a whole bunch of reasons; mainly because the NSW govt doesn't fund the Coroners Court, we may not end up in front of a Coroners Court seeking justice for Leetona and the Dungay family for another year," said Duncan Fine.

A candlelight vigil will be held for David Dungay at Sydney Town Hall on the first anniversary of his death the 29th December 2016.