Lebron Martin was taken from the care of his loving family in the months before he died of a rare genetic condition, aged 4.
Lebron Martin was taken from the care of his loving family in the months before he died of a rare genetic condition, aged 4.

Coroner probes last months of little Lebron’s life

CHILD protection authorities made a questionable decision to take a young Aboriginal boy with a rare genetic condition away from his loving parents in the months before he died, an inquest has heard.

Lebron Martin, 4, died in the arms of his father, Dwayne Rogers and mother, Kara Lee Martin, in December 2017 after succumbing to complications, the result of his rare condition, Niemen Pick type C.

His older sister, Leishana, died of the same condition in 2005 aged just 4 months.

The inquest into Lebron's death will consider whether removing him from his parents in late July that year was "the most appropriate course".

Counsel assisting the coroner Kelvin Currie said in his opening address that Lebron's medical notes revealed him to be a "generally happy child".

"He was noted to smile a lot and he was very much loved by his family," Mr Currie said.

"Particular note is made in the medical notes on frequent occasions of the love his mother showed to him."

Both parents travelled interstate for Lebron to undergo major surgery,

In a family statement which Coroner Greg Cavanagh said should be "front and centre" of the inquest, Mr Rogers and Ms Martin said their son was "a happy and cheeky little boy".

"Lebron was very happy when he was with his family.

"Even when he was sick and feeling unwell, he loved Kara and was truly happy when he was with Kara.

"When Lebron was returning to care, we could see the sadness in his eyes and we could tell that he was sad.

"We very much wanted Lebron to stay in our care and we worried that Lebron may pass away in someone else's care."

The inquest was adjourned on Tuesday until next Wednesday because of technical problems with a video link being used to examine former Territory Families case worker Martina Trimble from Western Australia.

Ms Trimble will appear in person when the inquest resumes.



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