The family of a Palm Island man who died in custody six years ago is pleased to have some closure after receiving a settlement from police, the family’s solicitor says.


The Queensland Police Service announced on Wednesday it had given a settlement to the family and partner of Mulrunji Doomadgee about three years after the family lodged a claim.

Mr Doomadgee, 36, died on the floor of a Palm Island watchhouse in north Queensland in 2004 from massive internal injuries including broken ribs, a ruptured spleen and his liver almost split in two.

A settlement has been reached to resolve civil claims relating to his death, a statement from police said.

“The dependency claim and the claim by one family member are subject to sanction by the Public Trustee,” the statement said.

Police would not clarify what the settlement entailed, saying it was confidential.

The family’s solicitor, Andrew O’Brien, told AAP the settlement had given them some closure.

“They are happy it is finished – it enables them to move on a little bit,” he said.

“It brings an end to one element of the whole saga and hopefully the other outstanding matters will be resolved soon.

“It’s been six years now, so they are starting to grow tired of the litigation and want to move forward.”

The settlement came a day after Queensland’s crime watchdog announced there was not enough evidence to lay new charges against the policeman acquitted of killing Mr Doomadgee.

Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) reviewed material relating to Mr Doomadgee’s death stemming from a third inquest in May.

It concluded there was insufficient evidence for any new charges to be laid against Mr Doomadgee’s arresting officer, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, who was previously acquitted of his manslaughter.

Mr O’Brien said the family would like fresh charges brought against Sen Sgt Hurley.

“They weren’t surprised (by the CMC’s decision), but they are disappointed by it,” he said.

“Our preference is that it would be referred to a tribunal for their determination.”