British Columbia

Murder-suicide inquest: Angie Robinson terrible choice leads to 24 recommendations for change

A coroner's inquest into a murder-suicide sparks calls for change after testimony about Angie Robinson's impossible choice

Severely autistic, violent son barred from women's shelter

An inquest in to a murder-suicide heard testimony that Angie Robinson had to choose between a safe haven and her son. (Facebook)

The deaths of a Prince Rupert mother and her severely autistic son have led to recommendations from a coroner's inquest jury.

Angie Robinson killed herself April 3, 2014, after she ended her own 16-year-old son Robert's life.

"We can't bring Angie and Robbie back, but their deaths do not have to be in vain," said Robinson's sister, Michelle Watson. 

Our hope is that other families don't have to attend other inquests- Michelle Watson, Angie Robinson's sister

The jury heard testimony that Robinson endured an abusive relationship, instead of moving to safety because her volatile son was not welcome at the women's shelter.

The jury recommendations included:

  • Increasing training for child safety workers
  • Ensuring more consultation and communication between authorities.
  • Providing free autism training for parents.

The list of 24 recommended changes ends with a poignant point.

The six person jury underlined evidence of a lack of empathy to Angie Robinson's situation, and noted that the Prince Rupert mother looked for help and ran into walls, instead of support.

The jury began to hear evidence on Monday about the troubles facing Robinson, a single mother.

Urged to seek safety

Starting Sept. 28 the inquest heard evidence about domestic violence Angie suffered at the hands of Robbie's father, Robert Mutch.

Mutch is alleged to have broken into Angie's house, assaulted her, and illegally confined her.

Prince Rupert RCMP Cpl. Josh Brownlee testified police responded to at least 14 calls over two years. 

Authorities urged Angie to seek safety at a women's shelter.

But her 16 year old son wasn't allowed to go to the shelter with her. 

Violent Outbursts

Robbie was prone to violence, including punching and head-butting. He'd been sent home from school and even barred from a nearby respite home. He  was considered a danger to other women and children at the shelter because of his violent outbursts.

The bodies of Robbie Robinson and his mother Angie were found in their Prince Rupert home a year ago in what was deemed a murder-suicide. (

Angie feared that if she went to the transition home, Robbie would be sent far away from their home community. So, she stayed in the home where both mother and son were later found dead.

Earlier this week, Michelle Watson, Angie's sister, told the inquest that Angie had often approached the Ministry of Children and Family Development for help, but no support was available. 

Jurors were told Angie had attempted suicide several times.

Thursday, a child safety worker with the Ministry of Children and Families testified she erred in not considering the mother's suicide attempts a "red flag."

Tracy Beynon broke down and cried several times while giving evidence.

"I did not know where Robbie could go," she said.