Chaotic moments before death of 'gentle' chef

AN INQUEST into the death of a young man has heard of the chaos that led up to the moment he became unresponsive.

Tristan Francis Naudi, 23, died at Lismore Base Hospital on the night of January 18, 2016.

The Coroners Court in Byron Bay yesterday heard Mr Naudi had taken what he believed was LSD along with a friend that day.

But a toxicology report found only MDMA and MDA in his system.

Mr Naudi had been taken to the hospital by police from Bangalow after he became severely affected by the drug, a court heard.

The court heard an ambulance had been called to the home, and that one of three police officers yesterday called as a witness had requested help from paramedics three times.

But that officer was informed by his supervisor the ambulance would not be attending due to Mr Naudi's aggressive behaviour.

This included lashing out at his housemate and police, the court heard.

While police transported him to hospital, he was not placed under arrest. 

Counsel assisting the Crown, Donna Ward, told the court such behaviour, also described as "erratic" by witnesses, was at odds with Mr Naudi's usual, "gentle", nature.

Yesterday's hearing included a viewing of a police vehicle similar to the Mitsubishi Pajero used to transport Mr Naudi to hospital.

One of the attending officers showed the court small fans which allow air to ventilate in that section of the vehicle.

The court heard Mr Naudi had appeared to have a high body temperature and was sweating profusely.

After driving him to the hospital, the two officers waited about 15 minutes until an isolation room was available.

In that room, they were assisted by two others in restraining an agitated Mr Naudi as hospital staff inserted a cannula, then gave him sedative medication. 

One of the officers recalled Mr Naudi's hands and feet becoming "very pale in colour" at one point.

The court heard Mr Naudi, who was wearing handcuffs, had flipped to a downward-facing, or "prone", position while the officers were carrying him to this room.

He remained in that position as he was being treated on the isolation room's mattress.

At some point after he received medication, Mr Naudi was found to be unresponsive and he could not be revived.

The other officer told the court he warned the others to be careful to avoid "positional asphyxiation".

When his colleague was asked whether he had heard medical staff say anything to the effect of: "make sure that patient can breathe properly" or "get off the chest", he said he did not.

He told the court more than 10 people were inside the room at one stage and those phrases "may have been said" but he hadn't heard them.

The court also heard evidence from the Coffs Harbour-based officer-in-charge of the critical incident investigation which was sparked by Mr Naudi's death.

In her opening statement, Ms Ward said the court would be asked to consider the presence of MDMA and MDA in Mr Naudi's system, the psychological stress caused by MDMA toxicity and the way he was restrained, his prior medical history and the events at the hospital, as well as the use of the "prone position" in restraining him.

She said his cause of death had been found by experts to be sudden cardiac arrhythmia, which was "unusual" in a healthy man of his age, but was known to have been caused by MDMA.

The hearing continues Tuesday and is scheduled to run until Friday.

 

Original story: A DRUG-AFFECTED apprentice chef who died after he was taken to an isolation room at Lismore Base Hospital was held down by four police officers, a coronial inquest has heard.

Tristan Francis Naudi was 23 years old when he passed away after being taken to the hospital on the night of January 18, 2016.

Police had brought Mr Naudi to the hospital after multiple calls to Triple 0 had been made as a result of his "erratic" behaviour in Bangalow, the Coroners Court in Byron Bay has heard.

A coronial inquest is expected to run throughout this week.

The court has today heard of the events that led up to Mr Naudi's death.

In her opening submissions, counsel assisting the Crown, Donna Ward, told the court Mr Naudi was "a young man with great potential".

The court heard Mr Naudi had experienced past traumas but had moved past these to forge a meaningful life.

He had been an apprentice chef at The Farm Byron Bay at the time of his death.

Ms Ward told the court Mr Naudi and a friend had consumed confectionery which they had believed was laced with LSD the day of the incident.

Mr Naudi had occasionally taken this drug, but not regularly.

The court heard recreational use of other drugs was "part of Tristan's social life".

Ms Ward said stating this was "not to pass judgment" but only to identify Mr Naudi had used cannabis, cocaine and MDMA previously.

She told the court after taking one laced "gummy lolly" each, the other man noticed Mr Naudi appeared to be "feeling the effects of the drugs more than he was".

"Tristan's behaviour became erratic," Ms Ward said.

The court heard Mr Naudi became "less coherent" and his state was "terrifying, at times, for others to watch".

His condition worsened until, after Triple 0 calls from Mr Naudi and others, police arrived at the home.

Ms Ward said it was a sequence of events after he was then transported by police to Lismore Base Hospital that would be considered throughout the inquest.

The court heard they arrived at the hospital about 10.50pm and, after a short time, Mr Naudi was taken into an isolation room which had been initially occupied by another person.

Two Lismore-based police arrived to assist the pair that had transported Mr Naudi.

"For reasons presently unknown and that may never be known, Tristan was brought into the isolation room prior to the doctors being present," Ms Ward said.

In the isolation room, all four officers restrained the distressed man as medical staff inserted a cannula to sedate him.

Ms Ward said he was being held face-down on a mattress at this time, and was handcuffed.

After he was given medication, Mr Naudi was no longer struggling, the court heard.

"Tristan did not appear to be breathing, Tristan had no pulse," Ms Ward said.

CPR was attempted, but he could not be revived.

Ms Ward said a toxicology report found Mr Naudi had no identifiable amount of LSD in his system, only MDMA and MDA.

She said his cause of death had been found by experts to be sudden cardiac arrhythmia, which was "unusual" in a healthy man of his age, but was known to have been caused by MDMA.

Ms Ward said the court would be asked to consider the presence of MDMA and MDA in Mr Naudi's system, the psychological stress caused by MDMA toxicity and the way he was restrained, his prior medical history and the events at the hospital, as well as the use of the "prone position" in restraining him.

The inquest continues.



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