• Carol Roe, Ms Dhu's grandmother, says she's reliving her grief at an inquest into her granddaughter's death. (NITV)
A coronial inquest into the death of a 22-year-old Aboriginal woman who died in police custody resumes in Western Australia this week. Here’s what you need to know about the case so far.
Source:
The Point
14 Mar 2016 - 6:03 PM  UPDATED 14 Mar 2016 - 6:04 PM
  • Julieka Dhu arrested for unpaid fines
  • 22-year-old died from pneumonia and septicaemia while in police custody
  • 2015 inquest hears Ms Dhu discharged from hospital twice before death
  • Police to give testimony as inquest resumes

Why was Julieka Dhu in prison?

Ms Dhu was arrested on August 2 for unpaid fines.

The Yamatji woman was due to be detained for four days at WA’s South Hedland Police Station, under a controversial policy which involved paying off fines through jail time.

How did Ms Dhu die?

The 22-year-old passed away on August 4, 2014 from pneumonia and septicaemia, according to findings from a coronial inquest.

An autopsy found her death was partly caused by complications from a previous rib fracture, which became infectious and spread to her lungs.

The Western Australian woman had complained she was feeling unwell, and was taken to the Hedland Health Campus three times while in custody.

On her first two visits she was found to have “behavioural issues” and discharged back into police custody, the coronial inquest revealed.

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Is WA criminalising poverty? That's the question being raised as the inquest into Julieka Dhu's death in custody resumes in Perth.

Counsel assisting the coroner Ilona O’Brien told the inquest that some of the police officers involved believed Ms Dhu was “feigning her illness”.

On the morning of her death, CCTV footage shows Ms Dhu vomiting in the jail cell, unwitnessed by police.

She continued to complain that she felt unwell, prompting police to take her back to the Hedland Health Campus a third time.

Footage provided during the inquest showed Ms Dhu appeared barely conscious on her third hospital visit.

Shortly after her arrival, she went into cardiac arrest and died.

What happened following Ms Dhu’s death?

Ms Dhu’s death sparked protests across the country.

Her family, backed by the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, has been vocal in calling for answers about the circumstances surrounding her death.

You can follow the family's Death in Custody Campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #JusticeForJulieka.

A coronial inquest began on November 23, 2015 - more than a year after Ms Dhu died.

Scheduled to run for two weeks, the inquest heard from health witnesses and experts, who shed light on the medical treatment Ms Dhu received in the days prior to her death.

The inquest ran overtime, and is scheduled to return this week from March 14-24.

What happens next?

Police evidence will be heard when the coronial inquest resumes in Perth, running from March 14-24.

See more on The Point - 9pm, March 14 on NITV.