A coroner’s inquest has been scheduled into the death of an immigration detainee who died while in hospital in Peterborough, Ont., in 2015, the province announced Friday.
An inquest is mandatory under the Coroners Act. It will begin on Nov. 29 and be conducted by video conference.
“The inquest will examine the events surrounding Mr. Hassan’s death,” stated Dr. Paul Dungey, regional supervising coroner for the east region. “The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing further deaths.”
The inquest is expected to last 15 days and will hear from approximately 20 witnesses. Dr. David Eden will president as inquest officer and Jai Dhar will be the inquest counsel.
In July 2016, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit released details of Hassan’s death, noting he had been held for deportation to Somalia for over three years. The SIU said on the night of his death, 10 people at PRHC were trying to control him including OPP officers who held his head down to stop him from spitting and biting.
The SIU noted Hassan had “significant” mental health issues, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The SIU cleared the officers of any wrongdoing in Hassan’s death.
According to detention review records obtained by Global News in 2018, Hassan immigrated to Canada from Somalia with his aunt in 1992 and was granted refugee status the following year. However, starting in 1999 he was involved in several violent crimes, including assaulting his brother and mother, robbery, threats of burning down his mother’s house and threats of killing police officers. Documents note Hassan also had addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine, court documents show.
Dungey says the inquest will be streamed live on YouTube.