Coroner’s inquest into a man’s 2016 death while in Saanich police custody

Coroner's inquest into a man's 2016 death while in Saanich police custody

File photo.

File photo.

The 2016 death of a 60-year-old man while in Saanich police custody will be the focus of a public inquiry by the B.C. Coroners Service, beginning May 14.

Andre Claude Boucher was taken into custody and placed in a police cell on the evening of July 27, 2016, after officers responded to a complaint.

The following morning just after 10 a.m., paramedics were called to assess Boucher who was found unresponsive while still in custody.

He was taken to Victoria General Hospital and died in early August.

The chief coroner directed an inquest be held.

The inquest will be presided over by Michael Egilson and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses to determine what caused Boucher’s death.

The coroner service looks to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place and the jury will have a chance to make recommendations to prevent similar incidents.

The jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.

The Independent Investigations Office of BC said they were notified about the incident.

“We released jurisdiction as there was no connection between the death and the actions of the officers. We did not issue a public report at that time. Our new processes will now result in the IIO releasing a public report in a case such as this to ensure the public was aware of the facts associated with a death that occurred in custody. This helps ensure transparency,”

Andy NealAndy Neal

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