The funeral of Cleveland Dodd — the first juvenile to die in custody in WA — will go ahead after crisis talks with Corrective Services reversed a last-minute decision not to allow his incarcerated father to attend his funeral. The 16-year-old’s funeral service was set to begin at 10am on Friday in Meekatharra but has been delayed to 4pm after the family had to fight for his dad, Wayne Gentle, to attend. Gentle is a prisoner at Greenough Regional Prison but had been flown to Meekatharra on Thursday ahead of the funeral. Human rights activist Gerry Georgatos, who along with fellow Noongar activist Megan Krakouer has been supporting the family, said Gentle had spent Thursday afternoon with his family at the hospital where Cleveland’s body was being held without incident. Mr Georgatos said Gentle contacted his family in a “distressed” state on Friday morning, less than two hours before the funeral, and told them Corrective Services had safety concerns for the two security officers set to escort him to the funeral. He said it was a “travesty” that would have caused “chaos, hurt and distrust”. Crisis talks were held between with Corrective Services and a risk management plan was agreed in the minutes after the funeral was supposed to have started. Under the plan, Gentle will be flown in by a police plane and two officers from Meekatharra will be inside the service at 4pm and other officers will remain outside, Mr Georgatos said. A department spokesperson said it was “always the Commissioner for Corrective Services’ desire to facilitate the father’s attendance at the funeral if it could be done safely”. “Today the family, WA Police and Corrective Services have come to a new agreement in relation to security and we can now support the family’s request,” they said. The department had previously cited security concerns when denying requests from a number of family members in custody to attend and said a “private and respectful arrangement” was made for Gentle in lieu of him attending his son’s funeral. The service has drawn more than 500 attendees from across the State. Prior to 10am, the hearse carrying Cleveland’s coffin was just metres from the town hall when it was stopped by one of the mourners. It then turned around and drove away. Mr Georgatos and Ms Krakouer contacted Premier Roger Cook and Corrective Services Minister Paul Papalia urging them to allow Gentle to attend the funeral. “Whatever issues that they’re concerned about, or whatever risk assessment — they can’t do it at the last minute,” Mr Georgatos said. “They could have actually done all sorts of checks and balances to just take him to the service and to the cemetery.” Mr Georgatos said Gentle was flown in on Thursday with a “huge escort” of at least five police cars and 20 officers, which he described as “overkill”. He said Gentle was previously transferred from Greenough to Hakea while his son was in ICU from October 12 to when his family switched his life support off a week later. He praised Mr Cook for agreeing to allow Gentle to be by his son’s side and prior to the funeral decision being reversed, asked him to show similar leadership. “What I’m worried about right now is laying this boy to rest and not compounding the grief. The grief is now culminative and is being aggressively compounded,” Mr Georgatos said. An impromptu protest was underway outside the local police station after Cleveland’s funeral was delayed. Approximately 200 -300 mourners donned T-shirts with the face of the teenager as they demanded answers as to why Gentle was not allowed to attend the funeral of his son. “We just want to know why, because doing this is making things ten times worse” said one attendant. Mr Gentle was in Meekatharra last night to help dress his sons body, but was taken back to Geraldton where he remains in custody. Police were not present at the protest, although drones were spotted in close proximity but it is unconfirmed whether they were police surveillance apparatus.