Attorney and human rights advocate Mary Francis has said she is happy for the family of Micoud resident Chakadan Daniel, who died while in police custody.
On Friday, an inquest cited unlawful killing in Daniel’s death.
The 22-year-old was found hanging from his cell, two days after he was arrested for escaping lawful custody, assaulting a police officer and damaging property.
Daniel was scheduled to appear in the Second District Court in Dennery on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, when he was discovered dead at the Micoud Police Station.
A post mortem examination revealed he died of asphyxia.
Francis told HTS that the news of the verdict is “heartwarming”.
“For a long time now we have not been able to have inquests coming up with verdicts which are actually heartwarming,” she said.
Francis described Daniel’s incident as “particularly shameful” in terms of the manner of his death – hanging in the police station while in police custody.
“So I was particularly interested in the outcome and I am very happy for the family, that at least justice has been done and that now they can at least breath a sigh of relief, knowing how exactly their son came to his demise, and knowing that there is justice for them, and that at the end of the day, the matter will be pursued further on their behalf,” the attorney said.
Francis said the ruling in the Daniel case should set the pace for reform in local inquests.
“From last year the inquest started; when you have it stretching over a long period like that, sometimes it can lead to a lack of interest by the public and so forth. So once again I think it’s a good day for St. Lucia in terms of the outcome, and we are hoping that there will be more reform into the whole inquest and coroner’s inquest, and the coroner’s act, to ensure that there is more transparency, to ensure we can have more faith in the process.
Magistrate Robert Innocent presided over the inquest on July 24 at the Vieux Fort Court.
Evidence from both sides were heard before the jury delivered its verdict and the ruling was made.
Daniel’s mother, Frances Daniel, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) she is happy with the ruling and believes justice has been served.
She is now hoping that the persons responsible for her son’s death are put behind bars.