*Family and friends of Tane Chatfield (Photo: Wendy John)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following story contains the name and image of a person who has died.

The parents of Indigenous man Tane Chatfield received just a single “sorry” during the week-long inquest into their son’s death in custody.

The 22-year-old father died in hospital on September 22, 2017 – two days after he was found unconscious in his cell at Tamworth Correctional Centre.

“Tane Chatfield did not receive the care from Justice Health that he deserved,” a department representative told the hearing at the NSW Coroner’s Court in Sydney.

Colin and Nioka Chatfield dispute a Corrective Services ruling that their son’s death was not suspicious, and are now calling for an independent body to investigate all Indigenous deaths in custody.


*Nioka Chatfield outside the NSW Coroner’s Court in Sydney (Video: Wendy John)

Flowers for Tane Chatfield outside NSW Coroners Court on the final day of inquest. (Image/Wendy John)

Flowers for Tane Chatfield outside the NSW Coroners Court. (Photo: Wendy John)

Family members told the hearing that the young father was “not the person people make him out to be.”

Marisha Chatfield spoke of her brother’s time in juvenile detention – an institution she described as  “built on violence and punishments and drugs”.

She also criticised the corrective services system for removing their father from them during their childhood. “Dad was beaten down by the same system,” she said.  “So if you want to know what intergenerational trauma is like – it’s like this.”

In response, Ms Grahame flagged that she hoped that “any report of this inquest touches on the truth of intergenerational trauma because I think it’s been expressed very clearly today.”

Her findings will be released at Armidale Local Court on August 26.

— Wendy John @wendyjohn8

*Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au. Resources for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can be found at Headspace: Yarn Safe.