Friday, April 17, 2015

Coroners Public inquest announced for Prince Rupert tragedy of April 2014

It has been just over one year since Prince Rupert residents learned of the deaths of Angela and Robert Robinson, a tragic incident which left much of the community in shock, with many vowing to become advocates for families dealing with autism and other special needs.

Ms. Robinson and her son were discovered in their family home on April 3rd of last year, their story of struggles in recent years, one which raised concerns over services available to local families and the need to address the issues that led to the events of that day.

One year later, the BC Coroners service will start that process of review, announcing on Thursday that a Public Inquest will be held into the deaths.

Presiding coroner Michael Egilson and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath, looking to determine the facts surrounding the deaths.

The inquest will provide for a formal process to allow for public presentation related to the case, with the jury empowered to have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed a preventing deaths under similar circumstances.

No date and place for the inquest has been announced as of yet, with the BC Coroners service
advising that they will outline the process ahead as soon as they have confirmed the timeline and location for the inquest.

You can learn more on the Inquest announcement from this notice from the Coroners Service.

The Prince Rupert incident was one that was not only raised in the Legislature, but was also addressed by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the province's Representative for Children and Youth.

In the days following the tragedy Ms. Turpel-Lafond vowed to review the case carefully, indicating that it was an incident of great concern for her office.

The Coroner's Inquest will be one additional element towards making the provincial government aware of the need to improve its services to families faced with issues that can quickly move far beyond their control.

The Prince Rupert tragedy received much attention in the days and weeks following, some background on those events of April 2014 can be found below:

May 2014 -- MLA Rice takes local concerns on support for families to Committee room
May 2014 -- MLA Rice speaks to mental health issues for rural and coastal communities
April 2014 -- When autistic children are murdered, are they treated as victims or triggers?
April 2014 -- B. C.'s advocate of children blasts government following mother-son suicide
April 2014 -- Prince Rupert tragedy a call to action on youth care, advocate says
April 2014 -- Murder-suicide of Prince Rupert, BC mother, autistic son under review
April 2014 -- Distraught mother kills herself, and son with severe autism
April 2014 -- Angie and Robert's Family seeks support from Inclusion BC to push province to help families dealing with autism

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