Mr and Mrs Russell

Yaamaa, we are Helen and Ted Russell from Walgett NSW and currently live at Namoi village. We have two children of our own and have raised seven other children as well as being foster parents for 20 children over the years.. We are the parents of Edward Russell who was born 30th December 1973. Edward was born partially deaf and had developmental delays which severely affected him as a youngster. Edward had great difficulty with his schooling but he was a great help around the house & helpful to other members of our community, he loved helping the elders in the community with mowing lawns, chopping wood and doing the gardens. Edward suffered alot throughout his childhood and was often taken advantage of by some people due to his disabilities. On the 11th December 1993 Edward was severely beaten by 11 police officers while being arrested near Bathurst NSW.  To this day none of these officers were adequately disciplined and were still able to retain their ranks within the police force.  Some years later Edward was arrested and imprisoned. While in prison myself and Ted applied to the courts to have Edward transferred to a more suitable facility due to his disabilities but our applications were declined every time. While in prison Edward was neglected and our wishes as parents were ignored despite Edward not having the capacity to make decisions regarding his medical issues himself. He was medicated using sedatives without our knowledge and we only discovered this when visiting him he appeared to have slurred speech and unable to hold himself up properly. This was medical negligence and to this day know one has been held accountable for this. At one point while in prison Edward was placed in a cell where he was required to have another inmate in with him and placed on regular checks but none of this occurred, he was left in a cell on his own and there were no regular checks performed on him. On 4th December 1999 while at the post office about to send my son $100 I was told by a field officer to ring Long Bay Jail urgently which I did and was advised by a welfare officer that my son had died. It wasn't until much later I found out my son had died on the 3rd December which was a day before I had been told the news. Ted  my husband was out cotton chipping and heard on the news that someone had died in Long Bay prison the day before, he was told soon after that it was Edward our son. Following Edwards death there were investigations where there were so many discrepancies around Edwards death.  Edward was found hung in his cell but yet he was not supposed to be in there on his own and was also on suicide watch, there was no video recordings or any other evidence to show this occured. None of the prison protocols had been followed correctly and to this day  know one has been found accountable for this tragedy. We have suffered imense heartache since our sons passing and  struggle every day to move foward because of the injustices that have occurred. We are asking for your help with donations that will assist us with our fight for justice. This weekend we will travel to Sydney to show our support for black deaths in custody and to make a speech so people know our story. Your donations will help us with travel, accomodation, food and further lawyer costs. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and we thank you for your support.
Helen&Ted Russell
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Helen Russell 
Walgett NSW
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