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Death in custody autopsy finds signs of torture

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 5 April 2005

A second autopsy examination of the body of an Aboriginal man who died in custody in Darwin 20 years ago has contradicted the findings of a coronial inquiry into his death.

Douglas Bruce Scott died in Darwin's Berrimah Jail in 1985.

Letty Scott alleges her husband was killed by four prison guards but the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and a coronial inquest found Mr Scott hanged himself.

A second autopsy conducted on Mr Scott's body at the weekend found lesions that were consistent with torture procedures, like being kicked in the genital region, and with a facial blow and strangulation.

Mrs Scott says it has been a difficult time for her family.

"All of the family is distressed. Douglas's mother is very distressed because that was her son," she said.

"We're all upset. My son's very distressed and my daughters and everyone here in Townsville is very distressed."

The remains of Mr Scott were exhumed in Townsville in north Queensland at the weekend after his widow requested the autopsy.

The autopsy was conducted by a team of forensic experts, including a specialist from Brazil.

Mrs Scott says she has not received much support in Australia in regards to her claim and wants to leave the country.

"I don't want to live in this country. This country, I don't want to have anything to do with because you know how a refugee leaves their motherland and goes and lives elsewhere, I think that we should leave so the world can see how Aboriginal people are really treated by Australia," she said.

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