Police, paramedics won’t be charged in Gauchier case

She walked into a Delta gas station on Jan. 22, 2011 intoxicated,with a bloody nose, and claiming six girls assaulted her in Surrey

Paige Gauchier

DELTA — A Delta Police officer and two paramedics who dealt with 17-year-old Paige Gauchier but didn’t report the incident to the Ministry of Children and Family Development will not face charges after the Criminal Justice Branch found “no substantial likelihood of conviction.”

The teen walked into a Delta gas station on Jan. 22, 2011, intoxicated, with a bleeding nose, and claiming she’d been assaulted by six girls in Surrey. Delta Police and paramedics determined her injuries were minor but recommended she to the hospital, but she refused.

The police spoke to her uncle in Vancouver who requested she be sent to his place by taxi. According to a Criminal Justice Branch document, the police understood him to be her guardian and that she was living with him. Neither they nor the paramedics reported the incident to the ministry.

A little over two years later, in April 2013, Gauchier, then 19, was found dead of a drug overdose in a public bathroom near Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park.

The ministry launched an investigation and released its report, Paige’s Story, in May 2015, revealing that Gauchier during her short life had numerous contacts with police, paramedics, health care workers, school staff and others who deal with children in distress, and that many of those contacts should have been reported to the MCFD pursuant to the Child, Family and Community Service Act because as defined in the Act she was a reportable “child in need of protection.”

Gauchier was aboriginal. Grand Chief Stewart Philip, as president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, asked the RCMP to investigate if any offences had been committed under the Act.

The RCMP recommended that charges of failing to report a child in need of protection, contrary to Section 14(1) of the Child, Family and Community Services Act be laid but Criminal Justice Branch spokesman Dan McLaughlin said Wednesday that the branch has concluded, “based on the available evidence,” that there is “no substantial likelihood that the officers or paramedics would be convicted of the offences recommended by the RCMP.”

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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