Danny Green’s ‘coward punch’ campaign wins praise in prison death

Coroner Sarah Linton has backed boxer Danny Green’s “coward’s punch” campaign, saying she hopes his message is being heard and heeded.

Ms Linton yesterday released her findings into the death of sentenced prisoner Troy Allan Roginson, 35, who was fatally punched at wooroloo Prison Farm in April 2014.

Roginson was punched once by fellow inmate Robert Garlett after he told the younger man not to sit in his spot in the dining area.

Ms Linton said thanks to Green’s recent public efforts, what Garlett did to Roginson was no longer called a king hit and was 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,” Ms Linton 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.”

Garlett was sitting with another prisoner, Darren Polak, when Roginson told him not to sit at his table in future.

The pair found Roginson when they finished eating and Garlett punched him once to the chin, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the concrete path. Roginson immediately started convulsing and was take to Royal Perth Hospital.

There were no nurses on duty at the time but Ms Linton found Trained prison officers provided suitable first aid while waiting for the ambulance.

Garlett was sentenced to almost three years behind bards for assault causing death in June last year.

Th inquest was told this was the first time a prisoner had seriously assaulted antoher inmate at Wooroloo.

“The argument was over a minor matter of seating arrangements in the dining area,” Ms Linton said.

“It should have started and finished in the dining area but the two yougner men chose to pursue the deceased.

”As they often do, the single punch had immediate and fatal consequences.”

Ms Linton found there was nothing the department of Corrective Services did or failed to do that contributed to Roginson’s death.

Roginson was at the time serving four years in jail for a string of offences including burglary and possession of stolen and unlawfully obtained property.

Ms Linton said his prison record showed satisfactory behaviour at Wooroloo with no loss of privileges.

“he was described by unit staff as polite and courteous and a good worker who was pleasant and respectful to staff and prisoners,” she said.

Coronial inquests are mandatory after the death of a sentenced prisoner.

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