An inquest into the suicide death of an accused serial rapist at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre heard testimony from corrections officers Wednesday about Yousef Hussein’s last day.
Hussein, 27, was not considered at risk of harming himself when he entered the jail in May 2014 after his arrest on charges of choking and sexually assaulting five women and an attempting to attack a sixth woman. Almost two years later, still awaiting trial, he was found hanging from the railing of the top bunk in a segregation cell on April 12, 2016.
Inmates facing charges of sexual assault are often the targets of other inmates and are housed in protective custody, although they might share a cell with others facing similar charges, the inquest heard. However, Hussein had spent a 45-day period in segregation starting Feb. 12, 2016, on a serious misconduct charge.
He returned to the “dorms” before being returned to segregation on April 8, when he was placed on suicide watch after he refused to be transferred to another jail in Lindsay. Hussein told a psychologist that he was distraught because would not be close to his wife and other family members.
Hussein spent the weekend on suicide watch before he was cleared at about 3 p.m. on April 11 by psychologist Alyna Reesor, who assessed him for suicide risk and gave him a score of zero out of 10.
Reesor had recommended Hussein be “housed for support” — that is, placed in a cell with another inmate. She told the inquest on Tuesday she did not learn that he had been placed back in segregation until the following morning, when she learned of his death.
Peter Plouffe, who is now a security manager at the jail, was the admitting-discharge manager on the day Hussein was to be transferred. Hussein was one of about 70 inmates scheduled to be moved but insisted that he did not want to be transferred, said Plouffe, who gave him a direct order. Refusal could lead to a misconduct charge, which could result in being moved to a segregation cell.
Hussein told Plouffe he was suicidal. Plouffe told the inquest he notified the health care unit and spoke to a psychologist. Plouffe had the discretion to file a misconduct charge at the time but did not do so.
Tim Hannah, manager of the segregation unit at the time of Hussein’s death, said he put Hussein back in segregation after he was cleared from suicide watch because he understood Hussein was on misconduct. Hannah said he didn’t recall where he got that information but there was no way to check into it through an electronic record. Until Hannah could find out whether Hussein was on misconduct, Hussein would be placed in segregation.
Cells in the segregated areas are checked by officers every 20 minutes said Hannah. Prisoners on “enhanced supervision” — those just off suicide watch — are checked every 15 minutes. Those on suicide watch are checked every 10 minutes.
Hussein was not on enhanced watch, said Hannah. He later added that if there was any indication that Hussein planned to take his own life, he would have been moved to suicide watch.
An inmate in a cell near Hussein’s also appeared before the inquest on Wednesday.
Nathan Gagnon, currently an inmate at the Central East Correction Centre in Lindsay, was interviewed on tape by a coroner’s investigator and appeared in person Wednesday under police guard.
In the nine-minute taped interview, Gagnon said that just before lunch on April 8 he heard Hussein objecting to the transfer, saying if he didn’t get his property was going to kill himself. A “white shirt” — prison talk for an operational manager — told Hussein to go ahead, said Gagnon.
Asked by the investigator what he thought could have prevented Hussein’s death, Gagnon replied: “He could have been prevented by that white shirt not being (word unclear) to him.”
Gagnon said he did not know the officer’s name.
On Wednesday, Gagnon declined to answer questions about the tape, saying he has suffered several head injuries recently and couldn’t remember.
“What I said on that tape was a complete lie,” he said.
Hussein’s death was one of three suicides by hanging at the jail within a 10-month period. Two more inquests, mandatory when an inmate dies in custody, are to be held late this fall. The Hussein inquest is expected to wrap up on Friday.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
First, the Ottawa Sun is a conservative propaganda machine with next to no respect for the Rule of Law, Justice, Equality, democracy etc. Their news articles follow a sickening agenda and this article is no exception. The Ottawa Sun simply refuses to print stories that define abuse of power and in particular, criminal acts by police, prosecutors and or the judiciary, all of which are rampant in Ottawa.
One of the reasons Ottawa is the most corrupt city in Canada is because of the management of the Ottawa Sun who dictate politically correct articles. Notice that you can no longer comment at the Ottawa Sun? They want to tag you if you comment about them, to ensure that you can never ever post again. If you read the Ottawa Sun on line be prepared for the fact they "tag" you , and most readers have no idea that just clicking on their web site means that they have probably just provided a "fingerprint" or computer browser information that is very unique and identifiable to your specific computer.
Now lets deal with this bit of propaganda from the Ontario government.
First, the psychologist states that the risk of suicide was zero. Any reader knows that is nonsense.
The prisoner knew that if he uttered anything that put him at more than a zero risk that he would have all his clothes removed, put in the modern equivalent of a straight jacket without underwear and be placed in an isolation cell until he self declared that he was no longer a suicide risk.
The Ontario Government runs its jails like concentration camps, and sheer terror is typical.
In this case, the prisoner had family in Ottawa, the Ontario Government makes it next to impossible for prisoners to make phone calls.
A prisoner like this one, would be regularly "bussed" to and from court shackled and locked in a steel box, and that combined with the Ontario Concentration style of prisons is designed to make prisoners plead guilty.
Facing those kinds of charges means most lawyers will refuse to represent him, and the crown will engage in any thing illegal to secure a conviction and, after they fabricate evidence, do anything to make sure the appeal does no succeed.
Ottawa has some gentleman ethical Crown's and some are not, some are criminals who fabricate evidence and, worse still, use Judges that they know are "rubber stamps", to make decisions to suit the crown.
In sum, the Ottawa Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Ontario in Ottawa are rotten to the core, its a cesspool of injustice.
Now, lets deal with the "white shirt", not all white shirts behave like the one mentioned here, but that behaviour does happen because they are subjected to never ending threats from nut cases.
This particular prisoner was "a dead man walking", his odds of survival were not very good.
What is disturbing is that the charges while very serious, were not, have not been proven in court.
Odds that information will become unavailable and the press will be only given what the government
feels it is safe to provide.
You will note that "Gagnon" changed his story, he claimed everything he said was a lie.
No one with a knowledge of the Innes Road Concentration camp will believe that story.
More probably, he was intimidated, and threatened.
Then there is the mention of "his property", not that prisoners have much property but, it could have been irreplaceable "property" that the concentration camp removed from him as a way of terrorizing him. That happens all the time and is guaranteed to occur on "a transfer" which is another likely reason why this prisoner did not want to be transferred.
The directions came from the top, from the Attorney General of Ontario who by his actions or inactions, and then the minister, both of whom have no genuine interest in reform or accountability.
This inquest like all the others, will be a white wash, and designed to instill fear and intimidation into the inmates and victims of Ontario's corrupt Concentration Camps for men.
Ottawa Mens Centre