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RSS FeedsFor first time in more than a decade, coroner holds inquest into Toronto homeless death
(The Star Travel)


12 june 2018 18:35:19

For first time in more than a decade, coroner holds inquest into Toronto homeless death
(The Star Travel)

Before his death in a fire on a frigid January night in 2015, Grant Faulkner subsisted on meager social assistance payments and slept rough in tents, homeless shelters and at the home of his on-again-off-again girlfriend as he tried to find stable housing and get a job.The details of Faulkner’s precarious life were examined in a coroner’s courtroom Monday during the first day of an inquest focused on the Toronto man’s death more than three years ago.Faulkner was 49 when he died after his plywood shelter behind a Scarborough business caught fire.This inquest and another — an investigation into the death of Brad Chapman was set for July but has been delayed — are the first in more than a decade to focus on deceased homeless individuals who lived in Toronto.The five-person jury gathered Monday at the Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex in Toronto’s north end heard that a pathologist had determined Faulkner died of smoke inhalation.“I must say thankfully he died of smoke inhalation because I think it would have been much worse if he had been burned to death,” Prabhu Rajan, counsel for the coroner, told the inquest. “We should all be shocked and appalled that this happened to Grant. Not just that he died this way but in the way he was living, which contributed to the way he died.”Read more:Inquests to focus public attention on homeless men who died after years on Toronto streets The inquest heard how Faulkner, a father of three girls who became homeless after losing his job at an automotive parts manufacturer, projected a cheery persona to outreach workers and friends – all the while living on as little as $220 in social assistance payments per month as he struggled to find a home and stable employment.“No matter what was going on in his life, he could always find humour,” said Father John Stephenson, former rector of Scarborough’s St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, and on ...
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