Inquest set for custody death
CanWest News Service
Published: Friday, November 23, 2007
VANCOUVER ISLAND [British Columbia] – An inquest into a man’s death while in custody at the Tofino RCMP cells will be held in February.
Christopher Tom, 38, of the Opitsaht First Nation, was detained by police Aug. 4 for being drunk in a public place. He was taken to the Tofino RCMP detachment where later he was discovered unresponsive in cells. He was taken to Tofino General Hospital where, despite medical treatment, he died Aug. 5. An autopsy showed no trauma to his body. Further tests were conducted.
The coroners service inquest is scheduled for three days beginning Feb. 11 at the Port Alberni Law Courts. Presiding coroner Beth Larcombe and a five-person jury will publicly hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses in order to determine facts surrounding the death. The jury can make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.