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Punch victim's care in WA jail ok: Coroner

AAP logoAAP 10/10/2016

The supervision and care provided to an inmate, who was killed in a one-punch attack after a dispute about a dining table at a Perth prison, did not contribute to his death, a coroner has found.

Troy Allan Roginson, 35, was serving a prison sentence at the Wooroloo Prison Farm in April 2014 when he approached Robert Thomas Garlett, 20, in the meals area and told him he had taken his table.

Roginson sat somewhere else but Garlett later confronted him near some rubbish bins and punched Roginson in the chin, causing the victim to hit his head on concrete.

Garlett pleaded guilty to assault occasioning death and was jailed last year for two years and eight months on top of the sentence he was already serving.

In her findings, Coroner Sarah Linton said Roginson's medical treatment was to a high standard and she was satisfied there was nothing the Department of Corrective Services did or failed to do that contributed to Roginson's death.

She noted Richard Mudford, who reviewed the death in custody for the department, advised it was the first recorded serious assault at Wooroloo.

"As a minimum security prison, the prisoners housed at Wooroloo have been assessed to be of good behaviour and stable and they are anticipating release soon, so they usually do not present a management issue," she said.

After his arrest, Garlett was returned to a maximum security prison.

Ms Linton also commented that due to the recent public efforts of boxer Danny Green, what Garlett did was no longer called a "king hit" but was now more appropriately known as a "coward's punch".

"The public message that is sought to be conveyed is that a single thoughtless act done in anger can have devastating and irreversible consequences, so young people should think twice before resorting to violence," she said.

"It is to be hoped that two years on from the needless death of the deceased, that message is now being heard and heeded more often."

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