CONTENT WARNING: Details in this story may be distressing

Day one updates can be found here.


The final witness of the inquest was Dr. Mansfield Mela a forensic psychiatrist who has worked at RPC for over twenty years.

Dr. Mela says he had met with Toutsaint three or four times in early 2019 before his death.

The psychiatrist spoke on the many mental disorders Toutsaint was diagnosed with and the treatment he was undertaking.

Mela says during his initial assessments he did not observe any concerning suicidal tendencies in Toutsaint’s behaviour.

Early testimony brought forward a note written by Toutsaint that could have brought concerns about his suicidal ideation.  The note was reportedly written weeks before he died.

Mela says he did see this note and was only made aware of their existence a few weeks ago.

While Mela says he has not read the notes himself, he says if the notes showed some indication of suicidal ideation he should have been informed.

When asked for recommendations, Mela says there is always room for healthcare professionals to be more diligent in working with people with mental disorders.  He also says the communication process between all those tasked with supporting someone with a mental health disorder should be improved.

The inquest has been adjourned until 9:30 Wednesday morning.

Now that all evidence has been presented, the chief coroner is set to charge the jury when the inquest resumes.  From that point the jury will begin their deliberations to provide recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.

UPDATE 10:40

The second witness on day 2 was Gina Anthony, an information analyst with Correctional Services Canada and the acting security intelligence officer on the day Toutsaint died.

Anthony’s role at RPC is to collect information on inmates on several matters including situations of self-harm.

During her testimony, Anthony spoke on a note written by Toutsaint she received that indicated Toutsaint had suicidal ideation.  She says the note was filed, but the treatment and security teams were not notified.  When asked if she wished she had sent out the information to the rest of the staff she said yes.  Anthony says she expected healthcare staff at the facility to spread the information as necessary.

Anthony believes all staff at RPC work closely with the inmates, especially guards and nurses, and should be made aware of medical information that could affect them.

When asked about any recommendations for the jury Anthony pointed to communication between the healthcare branch and security branch of RPC as something to be addressed.  While she felt she didn’t have the expertise to give a specific recommendation she recognized communication as an issue.

Throughout the inquest, the family of Benjamin Toutsaint has been asking where he got the ligature.  Anthony says she did not know where the ligature came from, how Toutsaint got it, and also couldn’t recognize where it could have come from.

RPC only has one intelligence officer on staff.  When asked by a member of the jury if there should be more Anthony said yes and suggested that as another recommendation for the jury.

The inquest has now been adjourned until 1pm.


The first witness in day 2 of the inquest was expert forensic pathologist Dr. Shawn Ladham.

Ladham performed the autopsy on Benjamin Toutsaint after he died.

The doctor confirmed evidence the inquest heard yesterday that Toutsaint had died by suicide at RPC in May 2019.

Ladham says the trauma found on Toutsaint’s body was consistent with this cause of death.

A toxicology test was also performed on Toutsaint, but only found evidence of prescribed drugs that would be considered within a safe level in his system.

Toutsaint had suffered chest bruising and some broken ribs, however, Ladham says these wounds were consistent with CPR compressions.


Day 2 of the inquest is underway.  First witness is forensic pathologist Shawn Ladham.