ashley-smith-ont-inquiry

Ashley Smith died in a Kitchener prison in October 2007 after she tied a piece of cloth around her neck while guards, who were ordered not to intervene, watched. (Courtesy of Ashley Smith's family)

Ashley Smith's move to a psychiatric facility in Montreal was characterized by little to no stability, according to a psychiatrist at L’Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montreal.

Jurors at an Ontario coroner's inquest into the death of the Moncton teen heard from Renée Fugère on Monday.

Smith spent about one month at the institution in April 2006, before moving to other institutions.

Fugère testified that the first time she met Smith, the teen was handcuffed to a chair, and spent much of her time at Pinel restrained.

She said Smith was constantly acting out, and told the psychiatrist she hated the Montreal institution.

"Restraints were prescribed a couple hours after her arrival," Fugère said. "It was a means of protecting her and controlling her."

Fugère also said Smith continued to covet and hide items intended for self-harm.

She testified about incidents in which Smith spat at staff, or tried to pinch them.

"She did not represent an imminent risk of danger, she represented an ongoing risk of danger," said Fugère.

Just days after being admitted, Fugère said Smith requested a transfer to the Grand Valley Institution, the federal women's prison, in Kitchener, Ont.

Smith was 19 when she died at the Grand Valley Institution, in October 2007, after she tied a piece of cloth around her neck while guards, who were ordered not to intervene, stood outside her cell door and watched.

The inquest, which started on Jan. 14, has heard testimony from Smith's mother, several guards and a prison supervisor who said they were uncomfortable with orders to ignore Smith and not enter her cell to remove ligatures around her neck as long as she was breathing.

Fugère's testimony continues on Tuesday.