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Travis Paranteau Saskatoon inquest hears he was placed on 24-hour suicide watch

05/08/2012 04:35 EDT | Updated 07/08/2012 05:12 EDT
SASKATOON - Witnesses at an inquest painted a picture of a man struggling with depression leading up to his death in a Saskatoon jail cell.

Jurors heard a timeline of Travis Paranteau's life while he was on remand at the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre on charges that include sexual assault.

Jock McDowall, acting deputy of operations at the jail, testified Paranteau was put on suicide alert when the 28-year-old was admitted in December 2009, meaning he was on constant observation in a medical unit.

During his nearly seven months in custody, Paranteau bounced between different units depending on his psychiatric assessments.

McDowall said Paranteau was in a low-risk facility on regular observation, a decision dictated by a psychiatric evaluation, when he hanged himself in June 2010.

Dani Hagel, the correctional centre’s nursing supervisor, outlined the inmate’s medical records in great detail.

She said he would be talkative and happy one day, and deeply disturbed the next.

Hagel outlined Paranteau’s suicide attempt in a North Battleford holding cell in January.

In March, he told his psychiatrist: “I regret doing what I did. I hung myself and I felt stupid.”

The psychiatrist also said Paranteau promised to talk to staff if he felt suicidal.

Hagel also said Paranteau would regularly refuse antidepressants prescribed by his psychiatrist, saying they made him feel more depressed.

The inquest heard Paranteau was not taking medication and was feeling "good" during his last medical visit in late May.

There are no medical records in the days leading up to his suicide.

(CKOM)

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