Inquest into asthma attack in NSW custody

An inquest will look into the death of Nathan Reynolds in his jail cell on Sydney's outskirts.
An inquest will look into the death of Nathan Reynolds in his jail cell on Sydney's outskirts.

The family of an Indigenous man who had a fatal asthma attack while in a minimum-security Sydney jail hopes his inquest this week will bring justice and closure.

Tradesman Nathan Reynolds, 36, was pronounced dead on the floor of his cell in South Windsor on Sydney's outskirts on September 1, 2018.

His inquest, to run for more than a week in the Lidcombe coroners court, is expected to hear the Dunghutti man buzzed to report he was having difficulty breathing. Multiple inmates also reported the issue.

NSW coroner Elizabeth Ryan will be asked to consider what level of medical treatment Mr Reynolds received in the months before his death as well as whether prison staff acted appropriately on the day of his death.

Inquest witnesses include those who attended Mr Reynolds' cell in the Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Correctional Centre as well as the medical staff responsible for screening him upon his entry to custody in May 2018.

Lawyers leading the inquest may also call for nurses treating Mr Reynolds in the intervening months to give evidence.

Inmates, including one who became a close friend of Mr Reynolds, are expected to give evidence during the first week.

A younger sister of Mr Reynolds has said his five-month sentence turned "into a lifelong one" and that after the inquest "hopefully ... we will finally have the closure we've been waiting for".

"He didn't deserve to go the way he did. No one deserves to go that way. He had so much life left in him and so much life to give," Makayla Reynolds told NITV in July

Taleah Reynolds, another of Mr Reynolds' five younger siblings, described her brother as "funny ... always the jokester of the party" who loved football, fishing and golf.

"Someone needs to be held accountable," she said.

Supporters of the Reynolds family are expected to host a smoking ceremony before the inquest begins on Monday.

Australian Associated Press