Inquest to be held into 2018 prison death of Hamilton man


Published September 5, 2023 at 4:55 pm

An inquest will be held into the 2018 death of a 55-year-old Hamilton man while he was in custody at the provincial Barton Street Jail.

Dr. Karen Schiff, regional supervising coroner of the West Region’s Hamilton Office, made the announcement today (Sept. 5) regarding the case of Dale Barron.

“The inquest itself will examine the circumstances of his death,” said Stephanie Rea, issues manager for the office of Ontario’s chief coroner in Toronto, in an email to today (Sept. 5). “The jury will make a determination on the manner of death and may make recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances. This is a mandatory inquest as the Office of the Chief Coroner must hold an inquest whenever there is a death in custody.”

Barron died on May 5, 2018 at the maximum-security Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre. 

The date and location of the inquest were not yet available. The inquest, which was originally scheduled for May 11, 2020, had initially been postponed because of the pandemic.

There was scant information about the case in the news and could not immediately confirm details about it including the circumstances of Barron’s death.

An online obituary mentioned a man of the same name and age who had died on the same date at Hamilton General Hospital. could not immediately confirm if this was the same man that is the subject of the inquest. The obituary mentioned that the 55-year-old man “passed peacefully surrounded by his loving family.”

“Dale was exceptionally caring with a kind heart,” according to the obituary.

In December 2017, The Hamilton Spectator reported that a man with the same name and age had been arrested after he allegedly stabbed two other men over a “verbal disagreement” at the Krown Cafe in Stoney Creek around 2:30 a.m. on May 22 that year. The men were seriously hurt. The man was charged with aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm and dangerous weapons. There didn’t appear to be further follow-up stories.

“I wouldn’t be able to confirm it is the same individual,” Rea, who works for the office of Ontario’s chief coroner in Toronto, told “Our investigations only relate to the circumstances of the death itself, not what the individual may or may not have done when alive.”


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