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Ashley Smith coroner's inquest hears from acting warden

09/30/2013 10:24 EDT | Updated 11/30/2013 05:12 EST
The  woman who was in charge of the prison where Ashley Smith choked to death in 2007 testified she was told the Moncton teenager would tax resources.

didn't have a choice" on accepting Smith.

- Live feed: Ashley Smith coroner's inquest

Previous witnesses have testified that Berry was among the senior managers who ordered staff not to intervene when Smith would tie ligatures around her neck, as long as the troubled teenager was still breathing.

Last week, the former deputy warden, Joanna Pauline, testified it was the warden who ordered her to tell staff about the new policy not to go into Smith's cell unless it was a medical emergency.

wanted to work in the male prison system because the rules were clearer and the men were easier to deal with, she said.

But she was told the national headquarters of the Correctional Service of Canada wanted her help in turning the institution around, so she agreed to a four-month stint, which started in August 2007, she said.

When Smith arrived, it was only supposed to 

Berry said the commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada was taking a personal interest in Smith's case, which she found unusual because the commissioner had not taken a similar interest in a five-day riot at a maximum security prison where she had previously worked.

She testified she originally believed it was a peculiarity of the women's section, but now realizes it was because of all of Smith's transfers between institutions. 

The inquest, which started on Jan. 14 and resumed on Sept. 9 after a 10-week break, 

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