UPDATE 1.57pm: A rail conductor who called police on an Aboriginal woman sleeping on a Victorian train says he would have done the same if she was white.
Conductor Shaun Irvine has rejected suggestions Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day's race played a part in getting officers to escort her off the train for public drunkenness at Castlemaine on December 5, 2017.
Seventeen days later, the 55-year-old grandmother was dead, having fallen and hit her head five times in the police cell.
Lawyers for the family say racism contributed to what happened to Ms Day, with Peter Morrissey SC asking Mr Irvine whether he would have called police if the passenger was a white person.
"Based on that information ... you would not have called the driver to get police," Mr Morrissey suggested.
"I believe I would have (done the same thing)," Mr Irvine replied.
The conductor also repeatedly said he couldn't recall whether he noticed Ms Day was Indigenous when he spoke to her about whether she had a ticket and where she was going.
But statements tendered to the inquest say Mr Irvine told officers Ms Day was Aboriginal and he eventually admitted he possibly said as much.
Mr Morrissey suggested the conductor had changed his story "because you're concerned an allegation of racism ... might be coming your way".
Mr Irvine rejected this and after prompting from V/Line lawyer Ben Ihle, spoke about having an Aboriginal friend while growing up.
He said he decided Ms Day was unruly because she appeared delirious and couldn't provide related answers to his questions, and he was concerned she could trip or even be hit by a train if she disembarked by herself.
The inquest continues.
EARLIER: Tanya Day's family has been dealt a blow after a coroner rejected their push for the immediate and full release of footage of the Yorta Yorta woman's time in Victorian police custody before her death.
The 55-year-old grandmother died in December 2017 from a brain haemorrhage after hitting her head five times in a police cell at Castlemaine, following her arrest on a train for public drunkenness.
Ms Day's family has been pushing for the immediate release of the footage of her time in custody in full.
"We think it's really important for people to see for themselves the treatment that mum had," daughter Belinda Stevens told reporters outside Victorian Coroners Court on Monday.
But coroner Caitlin English on Tuesday ruled against the immediate release of the footage at this time.
"It would not be fair for the witnesses to release the CCTV in full prior to it being played in court," she said.
On Monday, train conductor Shaun Irvine told the inquest into Ms Day's death in 2017 that she had appeared delirious, gave unrelated answers to his questions and he was concerned for her safety.
While she wasn't doing anything wrong, such as being rude or abusive, Mr Irvine believed Ms Day was under the influence of a substance and classified her as "unruly".
"I believed that her safety was threatened by allowing her to continue to travel in the state she was in," he told the court on Monday, citing risks such as falling or tripping.
Ms Day was removed from the carriage by police when the Melbourne-bound train stopped at Castlemaine Station and died in hospital 17 days later.
CCTV captured her falling five times in a police cell within two-and-a-half-hours on the day of her arrest. At one point, the footage showed her falling forward and hitting her forehead on the wall.
Australian Associated Press
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