The imprisoned mother of a 13-year-old boy who died after falling from a roof in Geraldton was denied leave to attend his funeral by the Department of Corrective Services yesterday as part of a crackdown on prison transfers following the Geraldton escape debacle.
Corrective Services confirmed Jodie Brown had her application to attend the funeral denied but would not discuss the reason behind the decision.
Corrective Services Commissioner James McMahon cancelled all non-essential prison transfers on Saturday after the escape of prisoners Cameron John Graham and Kelden Edward Fraser on Friday.
Family friend Jane Richards said she received a distraught phone call from the Greenough Regional Prison inmate just 20 minutes before the funeral was due to commence.
"Jodie was hysterical, it was heartbreaking," she said. "It had all been approved, absolutely, and then they came in and said no because of the escapees. It was a sad enough time, let alone not getting the chance to say goodbye to her baby. She'll never get that one chance back again.
"It's like stabbing a knife into her - she's already lost her son and then to be denied to see him and touch him for the last time."
Ms Richards said the family were very angry and would be taking the matter further.
"You can't just give someone permission and within the last hour take it away - it's just absolutely wrong," she said.
"They could've shackled her, handcuffed her or brought along 20 guards.
"As if the family haven't suffered enough, they didn't need to suffer any more. They should be able to grieve and now they're angry as well - it's so sad and tragic."
Nathan Shires died in Princess Margaret Hospital as a result of injuries sustained after falling from the roof of Spalding Park Tennis Club on December 9.
He was flown to Perth in a critical condition, but died on December 13. Police emphasised there was "no criminality" involved in the incident. 'As if the family haven't suffered enough, they didn't need to suffer any more.'" Family friend Jane Richards