Cell CCTV footage 'not saved'
ALMOST three hours of so-called "deleted" footage showing inmate Ian Klum inside a treatment room at Grafton jail on June 10, 2010 was in fact never preserved and was therefore overwritten, a coronial inquest in Grafton heard yesterday.
Correctional officer Kim Robinson, who was in charge of the facility's CCTV system, told the inquest that he was called in to "capture" the footage by jail manager Steve Harrison on the day Klum was taken to hospital suffering brain trauma and four days before his death in a Brisbane hospital.
The missing footage is at the centre of claims by prison officers that Mr Klum had been walking around the treatment room in the hours after he first placed a "knock-up call" on the jail's intercom system.
The claims, which have been questioned by counsel assisting the Coroner Warwick Hunt and the family's representative William de Mars, are being put forward by the officers to help justify the 3.5-hour delay in getting Mr Klum to Grafton Base Hospital just metres from the jail.
Mr Robinson was off work at the time he received the call, suffering injuries incurred in a recent car accident, and turned up for duties despite needing to wear a back brace and being on heavy medication.
He explained that only he and one other person held the administrative passwords for the facility's camera system for security reasons.
Under questioning from Mr Hunt, Mr Robinson said the footage from the jail's 16 cameras could be accessed for up to 14 days after a given date, but after that the system began overwriting the older parts of the hard drive.
If particular sections of footage were needed, he said, they needed to be retrieved and recorded in that 14-day time frame.
In court yesterday Mr Robinson recanted an initial statement he provided a Corrective Services investigator that Detective Doug Scott had asked him to record only a certain portion of the morning in question.
He said "somebody" at the jail told him only to record the inci- dent until Mr Klum was moved to a treatment room, downstairs from his original cell.
He said his heavily medicated state prevented him from remembering exactly who had told him this and that he was unable to produce notes he had made on a piece of paper which outlined the instructions.
Footage of Mr Klum's movement between jail cells and his placement in the treatment room were captured but the footage ended at 3.15am - about two hours and 45 minutes before he was taken by ambulance to GBH.
"By the time it was realised that there might be some relevant footage missing the system would have overwritten it," Mr Robinson said.
Other testimony was heard yesterday from prison officer Louise Gilbert, who was on duty the night of the incident.
The court heard Mr Klum coincidentally pressed the "knock-up" button for a second time, this the cell he had been moved to (225), just as officers were on their way to move him to a treatment room.
The intercom system recorded the ensuing spoken words of the officers who were ordering Mr Klum to get up and walk as Mr Klum told them he was "spinning out".
In earlier testimony from senior correctional officer Rick Woelfl (on Monday), the veteran prison guard said he had once been stabbed seven times by a prisoner in a clinic.
The incident, he explained under questioning from his barrister Steve Russell, had reaffirmed safety protocols about never entering a prison cell without another officer on hand.
Mr Woelfl had earlier been questioned as to why he only briefly questioned Mr Klum's cellmate Shane Johnson through the door grill several hours after the initial incident.
Mr Johnson has not been charged with any offence relating to the case.