Moncton murder victim’s family urges prison changes
Coroner's inquest made 5 recommendations
The family of a Moncton man, who was murdered in a British Columbia prison, hopes recommendations from a coroner's inquest will be followed to prevent any similar deaths.
Jeremy Phillips, 33, was strangled in his cell at the medium-security Mountain Institute in Agassiz, B.C., in November 2010, about one week after he was put in the same cell as Michael Wayne McGray.
McGray, 45, was serving a life sentence for six murders, including those of a Moncton woman and her daughter, while Phillips was incarcerated on a six-year sentence for aggravated assault.
A Vancouver coroner's inquest looking into why such a dangerous offender was sharing a cell made five recommendations on Wednesday, including a call for a mandatory single cell for serial killers.
Recommendations from a coroner's inquest aren't legally binding.
Wayne Fraser, an uncle of the victim, said he hopes the recommendations will be followed.
"Their recommendations, if they're not carried out and carried through, it's just an exercise in futility — other than my sister being able to have her say and get that off her chest, that's all the recommendations are to us," he said.
"Certainly, if anything can be done to [prevent] any family [from going] through what we've been going through over pretty near the last two years."
Meyer Rabin, the family's lawyer, said he agrees that people are entitled to be protected.
"All those people in prison are someone's son, someone's brother, someone's father, someone's uncle and they're entitled to the same protection that anyone else gets," he said.