Inquest set into Hillsborough Hospital patient's death

Jim Day
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An inquest will begin Fe.b 29 into the death of Sherry Ball that occurred while she was a patient at Hillsborough Hospital in Charlottetown in 2013.

A jury will soon be charged with determining what, if anything, the Hillsborough Hospital can do differently in light of a patient’s suicide.

“If they see it is fit from the evidence presented, they’re allowed to make recommendations to prevent similar deaths,’’ said Dr. Roy Montgomery, the coroner who will be presiding over the inquest starting Feb. 29.

The jury will hear evidence surrounding the death of Sherry Jean Ball, 47, who died in 2013 at the psychiatric hospital in Charlottetown.

Montgomery says the inquest, which will be held in the P.E.I. Supreme Court building in Charlottetown, will likely take less than one week.

He will determine whether the inquest is open to the public based on arguments presented.

Most inquests, he notes, are open.

Montgomery says he is going into the inquest with an open mind.

“I’m sort of there just to preside over it and not to steer in any particular direction,’’ he said.

“The Crown actually presents the evidence.’’

Montgomery says the Crown has decided that there is nobody guilty of any criminal wrongdoing in the death.

“The jury is not allowed to recommend that charges be laid,’’ he adds.

Ball’s death occurred on Dec. 1, 2013.

At the time, Charlottetown police told The Guardian there was no foul play involved in her death, which occurred in her room at the Hillsborough Hospital.

Police were called to the scene and an internal review was held, but no details of this review were ever publicly released.

Early last year then P.E.I. Attorney General Janice Sherry granted approval for this inquest and one other. Then chief coroner Dr. Charles Trainor recommended both inquests.

One inquest, which has already been completed, delved into the high-profile murder-suicide case of four-year-old Nash Campbell and his mother Patricia ‘Trish’ Hennessey.

The bodies of the mother and son were discovered early in the morning of June 21, 2013, in a vehicle that had been set on fire in St. Felix in western P.E.I.

The six-member jury made 15 recommendations including a call for a child advocate representing children in custody battles.



Organizations: Hillsborough Hospital, P.E.I. Supreme Court

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Joe Doe
    February 22, 2016 - 20:15


  • ++++++++++++James Arsenault
    February 22, 2016 - 16:34

    This is not a hospital for the people with Mental Health problems , but a PRISON complete with wire mesh on windows. It has been proven time and time again that this is a UNSAFE FACILITY FROM A FIRE SAFETY POINT OF VIEW . Demolish this hell hole and contract with Home wood Health Care in Guelph Ont to run both the Mental Health and Addictions problems . The staff at this facility generally do a fair job , but there are no white english speaking Pshyistrists here . Paticents are scared to talk to them

  • Place should be condemned
    February 22, 2016 - 16:14

    Patients can pretty much do what they want. Come and go out for smokes and can leave because no one is out there keeping an eye. Waters not that far away. This place should be torn down and a huge upgrade in staff because there's only a couple who actually give a sh*t about the patients. The rooms are spread out so yes there are a lot of somethings that should be done! RIP to this poor soul and others who died there and due to there.

  • SlyFox
    February 22, 2016 - 10:09

    If this happened in 2013 and things could have been done better,lets hope changes were put in place long before now to prevent this from happening again.