• Ms Dhu died in police custody in August 2014, two days after being locked up at South Hedland Police Station for unpaid fines totalling $3622. (SBS)Source: SBS
Payment revealed by WA Attorney general does not prevent family from pursuing further legal action against the government over Ms Dhu's death in custody.
Craig Quartermaine, Robert Burton-Bradley

20 Sep 2017 - 3:08 PM  UPDATED 20 Sep 2017 - 3:13 PM

A $1.1 million payment has been made to members of the family of Ms Dhu, the 22-year-old Yamatji woman who died in custody at the South Hedland watch house in 2014.

Attorney General John Quigley revealed the ex-gratia payment during Senate estimates in Western Australian parliament today.

He offered an apology to the family on behalf of the state government and in a statement said the payment was not made “in satisfaction of any legal claim they may have against the state”, leaving the door open for further legal action in the future.

According to the attorney general’s office, the payment has been awarded to five members of the family of Ms Dhu.

Her Grandmother Carol Roe told NITV that the family is not satisfied with this response. 

Ms Roe said the ordeal has had a traumatic ripple effect throughout the family with Ms Dhu’s father passing away in July.

Carol Roe promises the family will continue their legal proceedings against the WA Government until “those responsible are held to account”.

Late last year WA coroner Ros Fogliani delivered her findings that Ms Dhu's death could have been prevented if she had been given antibiotics, and found police acted unprofessionally and inhumanely.

During the inquest, some police testified they thought Ms Dhu was faking illness and was coming down from drugs, while some medical staff also thought she was exaggerating.

Ms Dhu, whose first name is not used for cultural reasons, died two days after being locked up at South Hedland Police Station in August 2014 for unpaid fines totalling $3622.

Ms Fogliani made several recommendations in her findings and also agreed to release footage showing Ms Dhu's final hours, except for vision of her moments before death. However, she did not recommend any charges against police officers or medical staff involved in the case.

West Australian police announced in June this year they will take no further action against officers, who had adverse findings against them, saying they have already been dealt with.

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