The National Justice Project is acting for Kearah Ronan, a young Aboriginal woman who was locked up, at 6 months pregnant, for “failing to obey a witness summons”. She had informed the Court Registry that she was too sick to attend and had offered a medical certificate. The summons was for a domestic violence matter – in which she was the alleged victim. Kearah is the cousin of Ms Dhu, a 22-year-old Aboriginal woman who died in police custody in 2014 from domestic violence injuries after she was arrested for unpaid fines. It is noteworthy that NJP Executive Director George Newhouse represented the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee of WA in the Inquest into the death of Ms Dhu in police custody in 2015-16.
Kearah’s experience, and comment by George on the matter, was covered by national and local media including by 7News and The West Australian. NITV and The Project on Channel 10 also covered Kearah’s story here and here, respectively.