• Michael Peachey is remembered as a devoted family man who was the rock of his family (Supplied: Ash Dahlstrom)Source: Supplied: Ash Dahlstrom
The sister of 27-year-old Michael Peachey says he was more than a brother, but a protector who 'looked after everyone'.
By
Jennetta Quinn-Bates

Source:
NITV News
24 May 2021 - 5:35 PM  UPDATED 24 May 2021 - 5:42 PM

The family of a Gamilaroi man who died after an interaction with police in rural New South Wales last week have remembered him as a devoted father who held the family together.

Michael Peachey died in Gunnedah Hospital on Thursday evening after being tasered and pepper sprayed by police.

A critical incident investigation is currently being undertaken by police which will then be subject to an independent review.

The death of the 27-year-old father has devastated the family and wider community, with his sister Sally Peachey telling NITV News that he was the rock of the family.

“He was more than a brother to me and our siblings. He protected and looked after everyone.” she said.

Mr Peachey was one of eight siblings and a loving father to a 3-year-old boy, Dwayne.

His family claim that Michael had never been in trouble with the law in the past, but in the week leading up to his death he had a number of interactions with police, who the family say were aware of his mental health issues.

On Thursday night, a call was made to police over concerns for Mr Peachey's wellbeing.

A police statement released on Friday said that two officers were deployed to a home in Herbert Street, and it alleged that 'the man became aggressive when officers attempted to speak with him'.

"OC spray and a Taser were deployed during a struggle with the man before he lost consciousness," it read.

"First aid was rendered to the man at the scene before he was taken by NSW Ambulance paramedics to Gunnedah Hospital where he died a short time later."

But Mr Peachey's family say they are infuriated with the lack of support that was given to him, and are demanding answers as to why the level of force was used.

“He needed help! We were trying to get him help but no one would help him without an assessment, and nobody would assess him.” his sister Sally told NITV News.

New South Wales Police Force Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said Mr Peachey's death won't be treated as a death in custody.

"It’s been treated as a critical incident from an NSW Police perspective, and again the details of that will be determined by the investigation. It is in its very preliminary stages and at this stage I would not be able to comment on that aspect." he said.

Members of the Gunnedah community will march from Moore Park to the local Police Station at noon on Wednesday to express their anger over the treatment of Mr Peachey.

Police declined to comment further due to the investigation.