Edmonton

Fatality inquiry into death of autistic boy ends

The week-long fatality inquiry into the death of an autistic boy who was killed by his father wrapped up Friday.
Jackie Mckean speaks to the CBC's Gareth Hampshire about how she had trouble getting information about her autistic son, Jeremy Bostick. 3:11

The week-long fatality inquiry into the death of an autistic boy who was killed by his father wrapped up Friday.

Jeremy Bostick, 11, was found dead in the basement of a north Edmonton home along with his father Jeff on Sept. 27, 2009. Jeff Bostick took his own life that day.

The little boy's mother, Jackie McKean, attended the inquiry this week and learned many details about her son's death.

Mckean stayed in Ontario with her other child when she split with Jeff Bostick a number of years ago.

McKean, who also testified on Thursday, feels she was kept out of the loop about what was happening with Jeremy. She also believes many service providers in Alberta didn't know she had joint custody of her son.

Jeremy Bostick is seen here in a 2002 CBC video with his mother Jackie Mckean. (CBC)

"He got put in a psych unit without me knowing," Mckean said.

Judge Shelagh Creagh is expected to take several months to make her recommendations. McKean hopes her findings will help other parents.

"The judge seems very concerned about what's going on. She's asking a lot of questions," McKean said.

"The agencies I'm sure, even if they don't get recommendations would expect they would consider modifying their own policies just based on this without having to be told but that just remains to be seen."

The inquiry has heard that Jeremy Bostick needed attention and care around the clock. He could not talk, so communication was a major barrier for him. The family was struggling to deal with his behaviour which was becoming aggressive and more violent.

In May 2008, Jeremy attacked three children and a teacher at an elementary school in Edmonton. He had to be taken to the hospital after he was found smashing his head repeatedly against a concrete wall.

The inquiry was told Jeremy was then subdued with drugs and strapped to a bed in the ER for 30 hours.

After that incident, Jeremy was placed in a private facility at a cost of $32,000 a month, where, according to his stepmother, he was making progress. But after four or five months, the province wanted to move him to a group home, which the inquiry was told sent Jeff Bostick into a spiral of despair.

Mary Ann Sinclair, the manager of the Family Support for Children with Disabilities Program in Edmonton, testified that the private facility was always supposed to be a temporary placement.

Sinclair said it was hard to get Bostick to respond to phone calls. When she suggested places he could call to get help for Jeremy, Bostick never followed up, she said.