• Police in Palm Island (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The wife of Palm Island man Lex Wotton has told the Federal Court she had mental health concerns for her and her children after police raids on Palm Island in 2004.
By
Laura Murphy-Oates

28 Sep 2015 - 5:14 PM  UPDATED 28 Sep 2015 - 6:54 PM

TRANSCRIPT

Tara Callinan: The wife of Palm Island man Lex Wotton has told the Federal Court she had mental health concerns for her and her children after police raids on Palm Island in 2004.

She spoke in Townsville, at the opening of the second week of the groundbreaking racial discrimination case against the Queensland government.

NITV's Laura Murphy-Oates was at the hearing.

Laura Murphy-Oates: The federal court has heard today that after raids on her Palm Island home in 2004 Cecilia Wotton sought counselling due to grave mental health concerns and later decided to move houses on the island due to the incident.

Mrs Wotton told the court that seeing her daughter have a gun held to her head and having her husband taken away was the most damaging part of the past 10 years, affecting her and her families' mental health.

She said she was concerned that the police were going to shoot and kill her child.

Mrs Wotton told the court last week that her house was raided at dawn in November 2004, a day after a riot on the island sparked by the death in custody of an Indigenous man Mr Doomadgee.

During the raid she said guns were held to the heads of her children and Cecilia's husband Lex Wotton, who was later convicted of inciting the riot, was tasered.

Among the allegations outlined by the class action, launched by Mr Wotton on behalf of Palm Islanders, is that the post-riot raids and arrests without warrants were excessive and would not have happened in a non-Indigenous Queensland community.

The court also heard from award winning former news limited journalist Tony Koch, who was present on the island the day after the riot.

Mr Koch told the court that residents asked him to witness and photograph the arrest of Mr William Blackman, who was in hiding, as there were fears he would be injured or shot by the police when he handed himself in.

He also said that he believes the police response to the riots was over the top.

The hearing continues here in Townsville tomorrow when lead applicant Lex Wotton will take the stand for the first time.