Videos show 'dehumanizing' treatment of teen Ashley Smith

// World | Videos show 'dehumanizing' treatment of teen Ashley Smith
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Videos of teenager Ashley Smith taken in the months before she died in a prison cell show the teen was subjected to “degrading and dehumanizing” treatment, her family’s lawyer told a coroner’s hearing in Toronto Wednesday.

Julian Falconer led the hearing through the video clips shot prior to Oct. 19, 2007, the day the New Brunswick teen died from strangulation after tying ligatures to her neck in her cell at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont.

Corrections Canada had gone to court to try to block the videos from being made public, but lost the case. Falconer is now fighting to have the videos played in front of a coroner's jury.

"To people who think this can't happen in Canada to a mentally ill 19-year-old, you know a picture speaks a thousand words. I'm embarrassed to be Canadian when I look at that video," the lawyer said outside the hearing.

In one of the videos, the 19-year-old is seen on an RCMP plane being transferred from a correctional service psychiatric facility in Saskatchewan to one in Quebec.

Smith is wearing two mesh hoods to stop her from spitting.

The RCMP co-pilot can be seen duct-taping her hands together and then to her seat. He then threatens to duct-tape Smith’s face if she does not behave.

“This is how the [correctional service] does business in transferring a victim,” Falconer said.

A video played at the coroner's hearing shows Ashley Smith being duct-taped to a seat on an RCMP plane while being transferred from Saskatchewan to Quebec.A video played at the coroner's hearing shows Ashley Smith being duct-taped to a seat on an RCMP plane while being transferred from Saskatchewan to Quebec.

Another video shows Smith tied to a gurney at Joliette Prison in Quebec after she tried to cut herself in her cell. She is surrounded by corrections officers in full riot gear, including shields.

One of the officers places a shield on Smith's torso while a nurse injects her with a tranquillizer, described by Falconer as a “chemical restraint.” She received five more injections over the next nine hours, the hearing was told.

Another video taken on July 26, 2007, shows half a dozen guards in riot gear entering Smith’s cell at 5:32 a.m. and telling her she had to have two injections in preparation for a transfer to another facility. Smith objects mildly but, surrounded by the guards, she presents her arm for the shots.

Falconer said a correctional service inquiry board had determined Smith agreed to the shots of her “own free will and without force being used.” Falconer pointed out that a psychiatrist had only recommended drugs be administered to Smith if required and said the “abuse” of the rules contributed to her death.

Smith was first incarcerated at the age of 15 for throwing crab apples at a postal worker.

She racked up six years worth of additional time behind bars for infractions while in youth custody — so many that she eventually ended up serving time in the federal adult prison system.

During the year she spent in federal custody, Smith was transferred 17 times between nine institutions in five provinces.

The correctional service is arguing that presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle has no jurisdiction to investigate how Smith was treated in prisons in other provinces and that the videos should not be shown to the jury.

The agency is fighting to narrow the scope of the inquest into Smith’s death, claiming the coroner has no jurisdiction to delve into the federal prison system.

Falconer called the position absurd.

“Don’t let them get away with it,” he told Carlisle.

“If you mistreat someone often enough, surely that will affect how they behave.”

Focus of inquest questioned

Carlisle wants a broadly focused inquest that looks, among other things, into how the teenager was treated after repeated episodes of self-harm.

Lawyers for the correctional service and three Ontario doctors involved in Smith’s treatment argued Carlisle's approach oversteps his legal and constitutional authority.

"This has become an investigation into how [Corrections Canada] treated Ms. Smith, and not an investigation into her death," correctional service lawyer Nancy Noble said.

Carlisle wants to turn the inquest "into full-blown inquiry into operations and management of [Corrections Canada]," she said.

The agency wants the inquest limited to Smith's time at Grand Valley Institution, said Lori Pothier, a spokeswoman for Corrections Canada.

The hearing was adjourned until Nov. 13.

The coroner’s inquest is set to officially start with a jury in January.

With files from The Canadian Press
Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Woman Murders Twin Babies And Shares Photos On Social Media

The sort of evils being committed everyday in this world by human beings make you wonder if this world shouldn’t be already ended.    A lady ... Full story

SHOCKING!! A Prophet Told Me To Kill My Mother For Breakthrough - Murder Suspect

A middle age man Oluyinde Ibrahim who was arrested by policemen attached to the Oko- Oba Police Station at Agege area of Lagos State for ... Full story

Just In: Horrible Accident At Ketu Involving Bus And Three Other Vehicles

A ghastly motor accident involving a Tata bus and three other cars in Ketu, Lagos has left many injured in yet another early morning accident.  A ... Full story

Governor Amosun Takes Oath Of Office For 6 New Special Assistants

Barely 24 hours after swearing in 4 Special Assistants, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state has approved the appointment of another sets of 6 aides. The ...

Lagos NAMA Offices Raided By EFCC Over N5bn Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday raided the National Aviation Management Agency offices in Lagos over N5bn fraud relating to the Treasury Single ... Full story

Medical Doctor Remanded Over Alleged Fraud Of N32m

A heartless medical doctor who submitted members of a hospital staff to untold hardship by making away with over N32 million has been forced to ... Full story

Graphic Photos: Armed-Robbers Killed At Ikirun, Osun State

The gallant efforts by the combined team of policemen and vigilante group have resulted in the capture and killing of armed robbers who robbed three ... Full story

Goodluck Jonathan’s Ex Aide-De-Camp Transported N10billion In 17 Suitcases To PDP Chiefs

Detectives are questioning former President Goodluck Jonathan’s ex-Aide-De-Camp (ADC) on the disbursement of more than N10 billion oil proceeds to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nomination ...

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki’s CCT trial begins March 10

Trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on 13 counts of false assets declaration is to resume March 10 before the Code of Conduct ...

EFCC Arrests Wife of Former Airforce Chief, Lara Amosu

Wife of the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Mrs. Lara Amosu has been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ... Full story

Jungle Justice: 5 Thieves Brutally Lynched To Death For Stealing

Angry residents vented their anger on suspected thieves as they lynched them to death after catching them stealing from people.  At least five suspected thieves were ... Full story

Comment on: Videos show 'dehumanizing' treatment of teen Ashley Smith

Rate this article

0

Featured author

chuky01

Breaking News

Forget My Physical Disability, I’m a Very Romantic Man… Cobhams Asuquo

Popular Nigerian music producer and singer, Cobhams Asuquo, will always remain a toast of many each day as his magic fingers on the keyboard helps ...

Kate Henshaw is unworried about what comes her way

When one is healthy, you don’t need too much experience to sight it. Awarding winning Nollywood actress Kate Henshaw whose marriage crashed some years ago ...

Fela Satisfied me more Than any Other Man… Laide Anikulapo Kuti

Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti is a well celebrated man in Nigeria. Despite been dead, his legacy lives on. His quest for justice and truthful kind ...

I Had my Best Valentine with my New Boyfriend in 2007…Dakore Akande Reveals

Everyone sure has different stories to tell about valentine celebration, all with different perception to it but they are all entitled to their opinion.Nollywood actress, ...

Halima Abubakar Dares Men on Red Carpet

When some people attend red carpet events, some go for the main event, while some go to see the latest outfit that is being worn ...

Only Children wait for a particular day to celebrate love… Essence

Every one is looking forward to celebrating valentines day, a day set aside to show love, even though it has been generalized to be lovers ...

See What Your Celebs Wore to Surulere (photos)

The much talked about movie, ‘Surulere’ was premiered last night in Lagos and some Nollywood stars and guest gave in their touch of style as ...

I'm Not Ready to Share my Love with Any Man…Actress, Sapphire Obi

Love is a special and complicated emotion which is quite difficult to understand. Although most people believe that love revolves around the heart, but many ...

More Juicy Details About Monalisa Chinda Secret Marriage Revealed

During the week, Nigeriafilms.com had reported that Monalisa Chinda was all ready to give marriage a second trial.From what we further gathered, the light-complexioned screen ...

Spending 4 Years Before Getting Married Legally is not an Issue…Foluke Daramola

Recently, speculations which went viral about Nollywood actress, Foluke Daramola and her hubby, that the two lovers headed for the marriage registry to seal their ...