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Dying diabetic man 'not ignored' - police

Published: 10:10AM Tuesday January 08, 2013 Source: ONE News/ Fairfax

Police say a diabetic man who was found in a coma on a Dunedin park bench had not been "ignored" by the public the previous day, as had previously been reported.

Media reports have questioned the community's lack of concern after Donald Caley was found on Monday morning next to Guthrie Pavilion at Bayfield Park in the city. 

A drainage workman called an ambulance, but 61-year-old Caley died soon after it arrived.

Dunedin Police say that although Caley had been at the park the previous day, he had behaved quite normally, and had patted a dog as late as 8pm. 

He was found unconscious on Monday morning.

Police are investigating his death, which they say is not suspicious and believe is linked to his diabetes.

Senior Constable Rob Murray of the Dunedin police earlier said Caley, a labourer, was dropped off in the area after work on Friday.

He said police believe Caley went shopping and then aimed to head home. Caley lived near Bayfield Park.

Murray said Caley was seen around the park over the weekend.

Someone noticed him lying in a sleeping position on the park bench, beside a changing room and toilet block, on Sunday afternoon.

''I think he's been mistaken for someone drinking or having a sleep off. He wasn't in any obvious distress so it didn't raise any alarms,'' Murray said earlier.

''Some people would investigate and try and see if he was OK, and some people wouldn't.''

On Monday morning, he was still there ''and the alarms go off'', he said.

Murray said Caley was barely alive when the ambulance staff arrived, but died soon after.