The officer in charge of detainees at Maitland police station described an Aboriginal woman's intoxicated movements as being "like a chimpanzee" the night she died, a court has heard.
Senior Constable Gregory Hosie continued to give evidence on Tuesday at the inquest of Rebecca Lyn Maher, a 36-year-old Wiradjuri woman who died of mixed drug toxicity in a Maitland police station cell in 2016.
Senior Constable Hosie was the custody manager at Maitland police station the morning Ms Maher died.
Acting NSW State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan heard that Senior Constable Hosie described to Sergeant Nathan Brooks - the officer who had earlier found Ms Maher walking in the middle of Wollombi Road at Cessnock - how Ms Maher had walked when she arrived at the police station.
When questioned by barrister William de Mars, who was acting on behalf of Ms Maher's family, Senior Constable Hosie agreed he told Sergeant Brooks in the early hours of July 19, 2016, that Ms Maher had walked "like a chimpanzee, crouching with her arms low down".
The court has heard previously that Senior Constable Hosie was not aware that Ms Maher was of Aboriginal descent, though he had made no attempt to find out.
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In earlier evidence, Senior Constable Hosie agreed he had a conversation with another officer about whether paramedics should be called to assess Ms Maher's condition. No ambulance was called.
"It was just a general consideration but I didn't see any reason why we should call an ambulance," he told the court.
"There was nothing during the night that caused me to believe I needed to call an ambulance."
The inquest also heard from Dr Brian Beer, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Ms Maher's body. He said the 36-year-old was not infected with HIV but had been infected by Hepatitis C some time in the past and her body had an "immune response".
Dr Beer said blood-to-blood contact was the only way for another person to become infected by Ms Maher.
Senior Constable Elizabeth South began to give her evidence on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Constable South was one of two officers who transported Ms Maher to Maitland police station.
She said she decided not to search Ms Maher after Sergeant Brooks told her of the warning he had received that Ms Maher had HIV and Hepatitis C. Senior Constable South will continue to give evidence today.
A march from Civic Park has been organised by Ms Maher's supporters for this morning at 8.45am, to be followed by a protest outside Newcastle courthouse at 9am.
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