ACT News


Inquest into death of Steven Freeman adjourned until August 2017

An inquest into the death of Steven Freeman returned to court briefly on Monday before the case was adjourned until August.

Coroner Robert Cook heard five days of evidence in February, and on Monday afternoon, the doctor who prescribed Mr Freeman methadone returned to the stand to continue cross-examination.

The questions turned to care plans - which included referrals to counsellors, or other services - for patient detainees after they had been inducted into the prison methadone program.

The barrister representing Mr Freeman's family, Bernard Collaery, asked Dr Streitberg whether he had prepared a care plan for Mr Freeman after the first methadone appointment, given the Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody, had suggested individual plans be prepared for Aboriginal detainees.

The doctor said no such document had been completed. He said Mr Freeman's ongoing care came under the jail's standard operating procedure, which, given the high proportion of Indigenous people, had been tailored with that population in mind.

The procedure broadly took the place of a care plan, he said.

Dr Streitberg said he was not told by anyone above him that he should prepare individual care plans for Indigenous detainees.

The inquest is scheduled to return on August 21.