Inquest to start into Mr Blanket’s death

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The family of an Indigenous man who took his life at a Perth prison say their pleas for help fell on deaf ears as his mental health deteriorated.

Mr Blanket, a Noongar and Torres Strait Islander man, was aged 30 when he was found dead in his cell at the privately-operated Acacia Prison in June 2019.

An inquest into the father-of-three’s death is set to begin in Perth on Tuesday, with his family desperate to learn what happened in his final hours.

Karen Blanket believes prison officials failed to take seriously their concerns about her son’s mental health after he told her he planned to harm himself.

“I rang up, I went out there, told them,” she said.

“They said ‘he’s alright, he’s well looked after, there’s nothing to worry about’.

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“He was in a care unit where it’s meant to be 24-hour care. They didn’t do their job.”

Ms Blanket said the family had only become aware during the inquest process of how many times her son had attempted to harm himself while at Acacia.

A request from Mr Blanket to spend time with his uncle, who was also incarcerated at Acacia, had been rejected, she said.

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