Family of White Rock woman who died in custody speaks out after IIO report released 8 years later

The family of a woman who died in a White Rock jail cell is speaking out – after the Independent Investigations Office released a report on her death -- eight years later. Kate Walker has the details.

The family of a woman who died in a White Rock jail cell is speaking out after the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) released a report eight years after her death.

On Tuesday, the IIO published its findings on the death of 58-year-old Patricia Wilson who died at the White Rock RCMP detachment in 2016.

Wilson’s family told CityNews it’s been a long eight years waiting for answers, and they believe negligence played a part in their pain.

“You get the report and you read it and it’s like, ‘Wow, it was way worse than I thought that it could have been,'” said Wilson’s son, Nathan Beveridge.

Nathan Beveridge
Nathan Beveridge. (CityNews Image)

“My worst-case scenario pales in comparison to what actually occurred.”

Beveridge, one of four children, says his mother had been struggling with a drug addiction. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant in March 2016 and remanded in custody.

She was expected to attend court on the same day she was found dead in her cell.

Though she died in RCMP custody, the IIO explains in its report that it does not have “investigative jurisdiction” over jail guards in RCMP detachments or paramedics.

Instead, the investigation of the White Rock jail guards was referred to the Delta Police Department (DPD) as a potential criminal matter. The DPD’s investigation, the report says, did not result in any charges being referred to Crown counsel.

(Supplied photo)

Wilson’s family believes some of the grim details in the IIO report show that she was treated differently because of her addiction. The report outlines that at the time of her death, she had been in custody for just over 90 hours —51 hours since she last ate. The report says she had been suffering delusions for days.

No medical intervention was administered after she was discovered not breathing and unresponsive.

Beveridge says he believes his mother’s rights were violated.

“You obviously have to make some bad decisions to end up in a jail cell, but you’re still a human being, and you still should be afforded basic human rights,” said Beveridge.

In the report, the chief civilian director of the IIO makes several recommendations for future detentions.

“For prisoners being held longer than 24 hours, consideration should be given to conducting health assessments by a trained medical professional after each 24-hour period. Consideration should be given to requiring audio recording of all areas where video recording is now required.”

Beveridge says no individual charge, nor amount of severance could equate to justice or bring his mom back. But he does hope speaking out will prevent cases like this from happening in the future.

“What we would like to see, obviously, is that there are protocols put in place, that people are properly trained on it, that there are checks and balances, that people are held accountable for the decisions that they’ve made.”

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