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A panel of psychiatrists say Ashley Smith became mistrustful in part due to numerous moves to several institutions.

The coroner's inquest into Ashley Smith's death heard from four specialized psychiatrists Monday.

The Moncton teen died in prison in Oct 2007 after tying a piece of cloth around her neck while prison guards stood outside her cell and watched at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont. The guards say they had been ordered not to intervene.

None of the doctors treated Smith, but they have pored over documents about her treatment and care, with a special focus on her transfers.

Smith was kept in segregation for much of the 11½ months she was in federal custody.

She was moved 17 times among eight institutions in four provinces.

Efforts were made to help Smith with psychiatric help, the doctors said.

But because her psychiatric records weren't shared among institutions, Smith became tagged as a difficult patient, several of the doctors said.

Dr. Graham Glancy said, unfortunately, anytime anyone got close to Smith, it raised her anxiety. And she dealt with that by acting out and harming herself.

"She could sabotage any treatment that people were trying to give her because maybe she was just afraid of taking that step and getting better," said Glancy.

"And that's perhaps the tragedy of this, because she likely had, we've heard she likely had the intelligence to do that, but there was just a demon in her that wouldn't let people get close enough to help her."

The jury also heard more about self-harming behaviour and how people often to turn to it as a form of release.

The four-doctor panel is a newer format, sometimes used in trials, said Coroner Dr. John Carlisle.