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Inmate spitting blood and hooded before prison death

Author
Ric Stevens, Open Justice,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Jan 2022, 12:00pm
Hawkes Bay Prison, Mangaroa. (Photo / File)
Hawkes Bay Prison, Mangaroa. (Photo / File)

Inmate spitting blood and hooded before prison death

Author
Ric Stevens, Open Justice,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Jan 2022, 12:00pm

An angry inmate spat blood and was restrained and hooded before he collapsed and died in Hawke's Bay Regional Prison.

An inquest into Kolby Heta's death has today heard how he had earlier thrown down his dinner tray and punched a prison officer in anger after being given sausages instead of fish.

The 33-year-old was handcuffed and walked by four prison officers from his cell towards the prison's at-risk unit. The journey took about 25 minutes and Heta was offering "hard resistance" on the way, Detective Sergeant Daryl Moore said.

Moore was giving evidence concerning Heta's death on March 17, 2017 before Coroner Peter Ryan in Hastings. His investigation has included reviewing prison CCTV cameras which recorded Heta's final walk.

He said that Heta was placed in a mesh spit hood after he started spitting blood. He described the hood as being made of fine mesh which allowed the wearer to see and breathe but did not allow blood or saliva to pass through.

It was held in place by its own elasticity and did not have any fastenings.

Moore said Heta was being moved along prison corridors by four Corrections officers using approved restraint techniques. He was lowered to the ground and checked by a nurse at one point.

He collapsed and went into cardiac arrest about 30 metres from the at-risk unit.

Despite being given CPR, defibrillated and attended to by ambulance officers, he could not be resuscitated.

The inquest continues.