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Saskatchewan man who died in police custody wasn't drinking that day: sister

12/02/2014 11:18 EST | Updated 02/01/2015 05:59 EST
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. - The sister of a Saskatchewan man who died while in police custody says her brother wasn't drinking that day.

Billy Ballantyne came to the Prince Albert hospital in November 2012 because he was feeling sick, but was arrested and taken to jail after a disturbance at the health centre.

Ballantyne, who was 44, started having breathing problems while in custody a few hours later and an ambulance was called, but he died shortly after returning to hospital.

A coroner's jury heard Monday that Ballantyne appeared intoxicated while he was at the hospital.

But Mabel Ballantyne testified Tuesday that she did not see her brother drink any alcohol on the day he was taken to hospital.

A physician at the inquest said appearing intoxicated can be a side effect of an acetaminophen overdose.

One of the arresting officers found an empty Tylenol bottle when he was arrested.

Ballantyne said her brother had been stealing pills from her and her mother, which was unlike him. She says he was taking the pills for back pain.

The hospital has since made a policy change where they do not allow police to take any patient away from the hospital before they have been medically assessed.

(CJLR)

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