Andre Boucher in Victoria in 2012. Boucher became critically ill while in Saanich Police custody in 2016 and died a few days after. Facebook photo

Coroner’s inquest due for 2016 death of man in Saanich

Andre Claude Boucher died shortly after he was found unresponsive in Saanich Police custody

Authorities are looking into what caused the death of a man who took ill while in custody of the Saanich Police in the summer of 2016.

The B.C. Coroners Service has announced it a public inquest into the death of Andre Claude Boucher, who became unresponsive while in police custody on July 28 of 2016.

Boucher was initially brought in by Saanich Police for public intoxication on July 27. He was 60 years old at the time and was taken into custody and placed in a police cell. Boucher was transported to Victoria General Hospital on July 28, where he died in early August.

Because Boucher died while in custody the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. investigated the matter. However, IIO found there was no connection between the death and the actions of the officers, said IIO Chief Civilian Director, Ron MacDonald in a release on Friday.

“We did not issue a public report at that time,” MacDonald said. “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.”

Despite the IIO findings, the chief coroner has now directed that an inquest be held. It will begin on May 14 at the Victoria law courts.

B.C. Coroners Service is looking to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place, and is not a fault-finding agency. Inquests are often required when the deceased is in police care or control before they die.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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