Death of Mr Ward – G4S

West Midlands against Policing for Profit asked West Midlands Police Authority:

The death of Mr Ward while being transported by GSL (now G4S) in January 2008

Mr Ward, aged 46, from Warburton, who was a well-respected hard working member of the community, died from heat stroke after being transported from Laverton to Kalgoorlie in January 2008. The journey lasted four hours and outside temperatures were in the mid 40s.

The air-conditioning in the rear of the van was not working. The air temperature in the back of his prison van could have been more than 50 degrees Celsius.

Mr Ward, 46, suffered third-degree burns when his skin came into contact with a hot metal surface in the back of the van.  Mr Ward had a body temperature of 41.7 degrees Celsius, despite attempts by staff at Kalgoorlie Hospital to cool him with ice and water for 20 minutes on arrival, they failed to revive him.

“It is clear that the deceased suffered a terrible death while in custody which was wholly unnecessary and avoidable,” said State Coroner Alastair Hope.

The Western Australia State Coroner found in June 2009 that the State, the GSL (now G4S) company and the workers had all contributed to Mr Ward’s death.

The Coroner’s report can be found in full here:

On 12th August 2008 G4S pleaded guilty to having failed to take any of the practicable measures and was found to have constituted a serious breach of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. G4S was fined $285,000.

1.            Did G4S declare the findings of the West Australia State Coroner or conviction for a serious breach of the  Occupational Safety and Health Act  when they answered the question at Pre-Qualification stage was whether the company had been found guilty of “committing any acts of grave misconduct in the course of their business and profession?”

2.            If G4S didn’t advise West Midlands Police Authority  of the court findings of its responsibility in the death of Mr Ward prisoner in their custody what action is the Police Authority proposing to take in regard to this?

The Authority’s response is:

Question 1 – No.

Question 2 – In undertaking the procurement process for business partnering the Authority is subject to EU law and the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations. The Authority is under a duty to treat bidders equally.  The regulations provide for mandatory grounds which require the exclusion of a bidder in cases such as convictions for bribery.  There are discretionary grounds to exclude a bidder where there has been grave misconduct in the course of a business or profession or where there is a criminal conviction relating to a business or profession. It is noted that the defendant in the prosecution was G4S Custodial Services Pty Ltd which is not the same entity as the company bidding in respect of business partnering. The concerns you list also relate to activities undertaken in a different jurisdiction with different national laws. The Authority are of the view that there are no grounds to exclude G4S from bidding on the basis of this case.

To see the full reply from WMPA click on the following link  Death of Mr Ward


Our message to West Midlands Police: Corporate violations of the rights and liberties of individuals in one country is of concern to the people of the world.



One thought on “Death of Mr Ward – G4S

  1. Hello from WA, Yes, This was totally f-cked up, the poorly trained and certainly morally bankrupt individual G4S Employees could not be bothered to raise any issues with transporting a person in an non-air conditioned all-steel enclosure 600km through the WA desert on a 42 degree day. Plus, the Government and G4S allowed this to happen as ‘par for the course’. G4S and The Government were originally found not guilty under criminal law, but then were brought up on charges under workplace safety law and were found guilty, receiving the maximum possible fine of $320,000 each.Lesson is – Use the UK HSE Laws to protect persons in custody via the provisions of HSE law that pertain to persons (non employees) at the workplace. For further details contact me, Bruce Campbell, Secretary of the Deaths In Custody Watch Committee (WA) Inc at coronation74 (a)

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