More than two months after the savage beating that lead to an Aboriginal man’s death, his grieving relatives say they are still waiting for answers from prison authorities.
Alf Deon Eades was found critically injured in his cell at Perth’s Hakea Prison on February 26.
He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital suffering from a broken neck, severe brain swelling, facial fractures and lacerations. Eades was placed in an induced coma but died in hospital on March 11.
Four prisoners – all men in their early 20s – have been charged with murder as a result of a police investigation.
Eades’ older brother, Robert Eades, said he has never experienced so much heartache.
“The pain is so raw, and the hurt, and the emptiness and the loss of him and then we have to face the heartache and pain from being told that people are being charged with murder and not what happened to our brother,” he told NITV.
Hours before he was brutally beaten, Alf Eades reportedly called his family from prison, told them he feared for his safety and, at his request, had been locked in his cell for protection.
They also said that he had mental health issues and should have been held in a psychiatric facility.
“We’re just trying to keep things together as a family,” Robert Eades said.
“All we want is justice. We want justice.”
Hakea Prison has gone from holding 900 prisoners to 1200 over the past four years.
Following an inspection last year, WA’s prison watchdog raised concerns about the rising number of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults.
WA’s inspector of custodial services also raised concerns about overcrowding, staff shortages and regular lock downs at the facility.
This week alone a prisoner was found dead in his cell, another was found with head injuries and a guard was ‘king hit’ by inmates.
“Day and night I sit and cry,” Robert Eades said.
“I’m awake early hours of the morning wondering why they did this to a very vulnerable person… and to think how cowardly they did this to a harmless person like him.”