NORTH ISLAND GAZETTE FILE PHOTO The crime scene in Port Hardy one day after the fatal RCMP shooting of James Hayward in 2015.

Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River

Family disappointed James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away

The coroner’s inquest into the 2015 RCMP shooting death of James Hayward in Port Hardy has been rescheduled for Aug. 20, in a courtroom almost three hours away from where the shooting occurred.

According to the BC Coroner’s Service, the change in venue is due to the fact that they needed a courtroom equipped for a jury that would be able to accommodate the inquest.

James’ aunt, Nora Hayward, said the family is “a bit disappointed that it’s going to be held in Campbell River — if they had to change the venue why couldn’t they do it to Victoria where family and friends live?”

She added that she asked if they could postpone it so that it could still be held in Port Hardy, but was told by the coroner’s service they “can’t do that.”

Regardless of the change in venue, Nora stated she is “glad that it’s finally happening and that James’ voice can be heard and hopefully some recommendations will be made to change the way the police deal with people suffering from mental health issues.”

The inquest will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse in Campbell River, where the presiding coroner and a jury will hear the evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts about James’ death.

Coroner’s inquests are formal court proceedings, with a five- to seven-person jury, held to publicly review the circumstances of a death. The jury hears evidence from witnesses under summons (same as a subpoena) in order to determine the facts of a death. The presiding coroner ensures the jury maintains the goal of fact-finding, not fault-finding. Upon conclusion of the inquest, a written report known as a Verdict is prepared. It includes the classification of the death and any jury recommendations on how to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.

It was back in 2015 when James moved towards the Port Hardy RCMP with a large knife in his hand and was shot to the ground. Witnesses said he then got up and continued toward the police and was shot again and again fell, this time not getting back up.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

After a two-year investigation into the shooting, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) declined to press charges against the RCMP officer, as they felt there was a clear action from James that was creating a threat.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Sold-out crowd enjoys BCHL game at the Brindy

Alberni Valley Bulldogs beat Trail Smoke Eaters 5-2

Campbell River RCMP officer assaulted during traffic stop

Officer expected to make a full recovery; had been conducting impaired driving investigation alone

Campbell River hydro project workers pitch a perfect safety game

The billion dollar price tag is not the only astonishing number

PHOTOS: More than 40 people gather for pro-choice rally

Event was planned to coincide with pro-abortion speaker Denise Mountenay presentation

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

B.C. pushes for greater ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

B.C. petition calls for seat belts in new school buses

Agassiz bus driver collects 124,000 signatures in support

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

NIC consults communities before drafting strategic plan

Plan20-25 to inform college’s goals and priorities over next five years

Most Read