Police at the Broome lock-up were too busy to carry out all required welfare checks, a coronial inquiry into the death of an Aboriginal woman has been told.
Balgo artist Ms Mandijarra, 44, died in the police lock-up in November 2012 after being arrested for public drinking on Broome's Male Oval with friends.
Post-mortem examinations found no obvious cause of death but Ms Mandijarra did appear to have infections consistent with that of a diabetic woman, and a pathologist suggested septicaemia was a possible cause.
The inquest is examining, among other things, what welfare checks police were required to carry out at the time.
Sergeant Troy Kendall was the shift supervisor when Ms Mandijarra was brought into police custody.
He told the court via video-link he would have preferred to send Ms Mandijarra to the town's sober-up shelter, but she had been banned from the facility for prior bad behaviour.
Sergeant Kendall said given her level of intoxication, he did not think Ms Mandijarra was in a state to look after herself.
He also said that given her domestic violence history, his decision to keep her in custody overnight was partly to prevent her from being involved in alcohol-related incidents later that night.
He could not recall if he knew at the time she had diabetes, but said if he thought she had any serious medical conditions, he would have taken her to hospital.
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