Indigenous man Tane Chatfield, who died in custody at Tamworth Correctional Centre, has been farewelled at a funeral service in Armidale.
Hundreds of family and friends filled the city’s Catholic Cathedral on Friday afternoon, to remember the 22-year-old as a man with “a big heart” and “everything to live for”.
“He was a young man with some considerable courage,” Mr Chatfield’s defense solicitor, Peter Kemp, said in his eulogy.
“(There’s) so many questions that remain unanswered, but I have every confidence that the coroner … with the powers of investigation will give us the answers.
“Tane’s mother said she wants to be the last Aboriginal mother grieving for a son lost in custody.”
Tane’s mother said she wants to be the last Aboriginal mother grieving for a son lost in custody.Peter Kemp
Mourners wore red because in Mr Chatfield’s final days he had asked his parents to pick out a red tie for him to wear when he faced court on three robbery-related charges.
“He was coming home,” Mr Chatfield’s father said during the funeral service.
“But he didn’t make it ... he didn’t come back.
“I love my boy. I’m going to find justice.”
Mr Chatfield, a father-of-one, was rushed to Tamworth hospital on September 20 after he was found unresponsive in a cell that morning.
Investigations are continuing into Mr Chatfield’s death and it is being treated as not suspicious.
All deaths in custody are reviewed by the NSW Coroner at inquest.
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