NSW Coroner recommends more training after inquest into death of man at Dungog

A NSW Coroner has recommended further training and education for police officers after an inquest into the death of a man at Dungog.

41-year-old Anthony Gilbert died of acute alcohol intoxication in January 2019.

He had been drinking in Maitland when he failed to check out of a hotel room on that day.

In the statement of facts from the NSW Coroner, Mr Gilbert apparently appeared intoxicated when hotel staff eventually saw him and he was complaining of a sore foot – staff called Triple Zero and paramedics came to assess the man but he refused to go to hospital.

Police were called and he was taken to Maitland Police Station to wait for his parents to come and collect him. Police had deemed him intoxicated but not a threat to himself or others so officers didn’t detain him at the police station, rather he just waited at reception.

His parents didn’t come telling officers they wanted “to teach him a less” so police later drove Mr Gilbert to his parents home where he was staying at Dungog.

Officers took him to the front steps of his parents house – they tried to take him inside but they couldn’t make him move so they left him out the front.

He was found unresponsive the following morning.

In handing down her findings yesterday the Coroner recommended the NSW Police Commissioner consider further training and education in relation to how police officers are advised to respond to intoxicated people who don’t quite meet the criteria to be detained.