Detained Indian-origin man was shaking before death, inquest told

Toronto, Jan 21: An Indian-origin man, detained by police in 2011 in British Columbia, “was shaking” before he collapsed in his cell and later died, a prison guard at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police holding cells in Surrey told an inquest, the media reported.

Surinder Pal Singh Malhi, 58, was rushed to the Surrey Memorial Hospital December 26, 2011 and died Dec 30 the same year, British Columbia Coroner’s inquest heard, The Vancouver Sun reported Monday.

Civilian guard Nina Mann said that she checked on Malhi shortly after he was taken into custody Dec 23, 2011 for allegedly breaching a court order to avoid contact with his wife and found that “he was shaking”.

Mann said that guards check on prisoners every 15 minutes and when she saw Malhi shaking, she spoke to him about it and he told her he was all right.

“He said it was normal for him to get the shakes,” she said, adding that Malhi had been violent and a heavy user of alcohol.

Police officer Ryan Pereira, who had earlier arrested Malhi, testified that Malhi told him he had two glasses of whiskey prior to the arrest.

He said that after he was arrested, Malhi began to go through alcohol withdrawal.

Inquest lawyer Roderick MacKenzie asked Mann: “You were concerned and asked him about the shakes?”

Mann answered “yes”, but maintained that Malhi did not complain to her about his health.