News

Prison fatality could not have been caused by coffee alone

NO ONE seems to know how a Capricornia Correctional Centre prisoner had caffeine levels equivalent to 20 espresso coffees in his system the night he died.

In a coroner's report published by state coroner Terry Ryan, details of the prisoner, John Michael Spence's, death indicates the 51-year-old died on September 4, 2013, at the Capricornia Correctional Centre's health centre with 64mg/kg of caffeine in his system.

However an expert in the forensic field suggested in the report the source of the caffeine could not have been coffee alone and that the levels at the time of death could have been as high as 80mg/kg, a potentially fatal level.

A toxicologist said in the report, "following the ingestion of caffeine, the peak concentration was likely to be achieved within an hour of ingestion and most likely within 30 minutes".

The coroner's report confirmed cause of death was "the combined effects of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and seizure activity, in the setting of excessive caffeine use," however the source of the caffeine is still a mystery, despite two 100g cans of coffee being purchased through the prison canteen by the prisoner in the months leading up to his death.

It was concluded in a court hearing earlier this month that while the prisoner "died from natural causes, the level of caffeine in his blood was unnatural and undoubtedly contributed to his death".

A Queensland Police Service spokesperson said the matter was thoroughly investigated including examination of the policies and processes of both the correctional facility and hospital in relation to interactions with the deceased.

"Despite all investigations, a source of the caffeine was unable to be determined," the spokesperson said.

"A report was forwarded to the Coroner and the matter is now finalised."

In a recent court case held in the Rockhampton District Court however, an accusation was made by a defendant that a Capricornia prisoner was dealing drugs out of the prison.

It was heard in court a sample of methamphetamine was delivered to the defendant's home "from a man they knew who was serving time at the Capricornia Correctional Centre," despite a recent Morning Bulletin report that showed the facility had a very low drug detection rate.

The report found that there had only been 28 drug, alcohol or tobacco seizures at the centre over the past two years compared to 89 at Maryborough's prison.

LNP opposition police Minister Jarrod Bleijie said any allegations about drugs in correctional centres were extremely concerning.

"If there is any truth to this (the relevant government department) must immediately investigate and take action," Mr Bleijie said. "In 2012 the LNP government introduced the toughest laws against synthetic drugs in the country.

In doing so we closed loopholes in the legislation making it easy for offenders to escape charges."

The Department of Justice was contacted yesterday for comment but was unavailable before the time of print.

Topics:  caffeine capricornia correctional centre death in custody



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

REVEALED: The CQ pubs set to receive a face lift this year

The old Saleyards Hotel is set to become a rum distillery.   Pictured are the new owners Warren and Catie Brewer with the children L-R Henry (3), and Otis (1).

If renovations are not already happening there are plans for TLC

He fell in love with an escort then held her dog ransom

A couple broke into the home of an escort, assaulted her and stole her dog because the man had fallen in love with her.

He beat her, demanded money and stole her dog.

An industry changing before Bruce's eyes

Bruce McKenzie with his grand son Riley McKenzie at Gracemere sale yards.

Bruce has seen the beef industry change significantly.

Local Partners

An industry changing before Bruce's eyes

Having spent close to nine decades in Central Queensland one local man has seen the beef industry change significantly.


Feeling Lucky?

Win $1000 worth of Scratchies
Learn More

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Why the Rocket Man won't be landing in Rockhampton

epa05642885 British singer-songwriter and composer, Sir Elton John performs in the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 22 November 2016.  EPA/PAUL BERGEN

Bulletin asks the hard questions after today's big news

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!