The cellmate of a young man jailed in Queensland’s far north has revealed what the pair spoke about before his death.
The cellmate of a young man jailed in Queensland’s far north has revealed what the pair spoke about before his death.

Man’s tragic moments before jail death

The cellmate of a young Townsville man who tragically took his life while behind bars has revealed the man's troubled mental state in the days beforehand.

Tragic details of Dylon James Ahquee's final moments and his troubled history through the justice system were revealed at a coronial inquest on Wednesday.

Mr Ahquee, 19, was found dead by his cellmate in his Townsville Correctional Centre cell on the night of Boxing Day 2015.

Despite attempts by emergency services and correctives staff, he was unable to be revived.

 

The inquest into his death will examine if the authorities responsible for his mental health and physical care in the prison had adequately discharged their responsibilities.

In addition, it will examine if a third party contributed to his death.

It will also look at whether sufficient information about Dylon was shared between youth detention centres, Youth Justice and Townsville Correctional Centre when he entered adult custody and if policy changes could reduce the likelihood of similar deaths in the future.

Rhiannon Helsen, counsel assisting the coroner, told Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday Mr Ahquee had a difficult upbringing marked by violence and self-harm.

Mr Ahquee had been in state care since age seven and suffered from spinobifita, which Ms Helsen said caused him pain and "impacted his function".

Ms Helsen said he had a notable juvenile criminal history, including convictions for serious sexual offences against children.

"His behaviour while in care (of the state) was difficult to manage," Ms Helsen said.

"Records suggest he exhibited aggressive, violent and inappropriate sexual tendencies with some extreme outbursts at time."

Dylon Ahquee was found dead in his cell.
Dylon Ahquee was found dead in his cell.

 

At the time of his death, Mr Ahquee was incarcerated as an adult in the Townsville Correctional Centre.

Detective Senior Constable Brendan Anderson gave evidence there was no sign of a struggle in the cell and the death ultimately had no suspicious circumstances.

Mr Ahquee's cellmate told the court he was concerned for his friend's welfare due to threats from the prison's mainstream population.

He said Mr Ahquee was more relaxed upon moving into protective custody with him.

"I was concerned for him … mainstream and protection custody are two different sides of the jail, they exchange not nice words," the cellmate told the court.

On December 26, 2015, the cellmate had fallen asleep after watching the cricket with Mr Ahquee.

He later woke to use the toilet before noticing that Dylan was dead.

He said earlier that day, Mr Ahquee seemed fine.

"He was happy, playing cards, gambling, nothing seemed out of line," the cellmate said.

Mr Ahquee's cellmate told the court Mr Ahquee called his partner the night before his death and seemed depressed because she was with "one of his mates".

"He was talking about suicide … I took it pretty seriously," he said.

"We stayed up late talking about how it wasn't worth taking your life over her (his girlfriend)."

He didn't report it to corrective services as Mr Ahquee woke up the next morning and seemed fine.

Originally published as Man's tragic moments before jail death



North Coast concerns to be heard at rural health inquiry

Premium Content North Coast concerns to be heard at rural health inquiry

The inquiry will look at the pressures of rural and regional health

Stages and big tents: What Bluesfest 2021 will be like

Premium Content Stages and big tents: What Bluesfest 2021 will be like

Organisers also revealed extra details on how this Easter will look

Check your crabs carefully, size limits are about to change

Premium Content Check your crabs carefully, size limits are about to change

Fishers will soon need to check their crab pots even more carefully with the...