Correctional Centre cleared of wrongdoing in inmate's death

QUEENSLAND'S state coroner has cleared the Maryborough Correctional Centre of any wrongdoing after investigating a prisoner's death in the facility.

State Coroner Terry Ryan concluded Andrew John Joseph Emerton died from natural causes, suffering a coronary atherosclerosis, and that no correctional officers or inmates contributed to his death.

Emerton, 43, made a call from the intercom in his cell just after 5pm on February 2 last year stating he was short of breath and needed help.

"Clearly, Mr Emerton's death was not preventable," Mr Ryan said in his findings.

"The CCOs and nursing staff responded appropriately to Mr Emerton's distress call and acted incredibly quickly.

"Despite the efforts of the CCOs, nursing staff and the QAS officers, Mr Emerton was not able to be revived.

"I am satisfied that Mr Emerton was given appropriate medical care by staff at the Maryborough Correctional Centre."

Emerton, an alcohol and heroin addict, had an extensive Queensland criminal history, beginning in 1987 at age 19.

Previous convictions related to drugs, violence and property offences.

He was placed at the Maryborough facility in 2011 after being sentenced at Southport on the Gold Coast for burglaries, stealing cars and fraud.

The findings stated he was taking medication, which caused high cholesterol, to deal with auditory hallucinations due to schizophrenia or a drug induced psychosis.

Emerton, a cigarette smoker, did vigorous exercise twice a day, including the day he died.

Major risk factors for the coronary condition that caused his death include cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Doctors found intense physical activity may have placed added strain on his already encumbered heart function.



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