The former teacher traded thousands of child abuse images and his death in custody is the topic of an inquest. (File)
The former teacher traded thousands of child abuse images and his death in custody is the topic of an inquest. (File) John Weekes

Pedophile teacher's death in jail sparks inquest

A PEDOPHILE former teacher died in jail - and now his custodians and medical carers will have to explain.

Kenneth Douglas Wright, of Rubyvale, was jailed after appearing in a Rockhampton court in 2011 for trading child abuse and bestiality images.

His prison term for trading about 17,500 images was suspended after a year.

But in 2013 he faced an Emerald court charged with similar offences.

He later fell from a prison balcony at Capricornia jail in an apparent suicide attempt and was severely injured.

On Wednesday, Brisbane Coroners Court heard Wright's health deteriorated after the balcony tumble, and he was transferred to Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The pedophile was then sent to Southern Queensland Correctional Centre near Gatton.

Wednesday's pre-inquest hearing before Coroner Terry Ryan was told Wright faced even more child exploitation material charges, and had a court date set for April 2015.

But he died the month before that appearance, and an inquest will examine issues including the adequacy of his healthcare.

The court heard nurses might be called to give evidence at the inquest, as will a deputy director from private prison firm Serco, which managed SQCC.

Dan Bartlett, counsel assisting the coroner, said Wright went to Princess Alexandra Hospital for x-rays in March 2015.

The next day Wright returned to SQCC and died.

The Coroners Court heard the 71-year-old was found dead from aspiration pneumonia due to, or as consequence of, traumatic brain injury.

The pre-inquest conference heard hospital records showed Wright had no prior mental health issues.

Wright was being housed in SQCC's acute care unit.

Wednesday's conference was held the same day as a pre-inquest hearing for Ipswich woman Jay Maree Harmer, who also died in custody.

The court heard inquests were mandatory whenever somebody died in custody.

Wright's inquest is expected to go ahead before Coroner Terry Ryan later this year. -NewsRegional 


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