Doctors at a Halifax hospital were in the process of getting Howard Hyde psychological help shortly before his death but police took him away to go to court, an inquiry heard yesterday.


At the time, Hyde had recently been arrested and charged with assault. He was taken to a booking station where he struggled with police and was Tasered. His heart stopped in the struggle but he was resuscitated and brought to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.


After three hours he was deemed medically stable but doctors were waiting for a psychiatric expert to see Hyde because he suffered from schizophrenia and was off his medication.


However, police had Hyde discharged before that could happen. One of his police escorts, Const. John Haislip, testified that he called back to the office to give an update on his condition.

Haislip said his commanding officer, Staff Sgt. Don Fox, said Hyde was there for medical reasons, not psychiatric ones, and was to be discharged if medically stable.

According to Haislip, Fox said Hyde was to be taken to court later that day to face the assault charge and new charges of assaulting a police officer. Dr. Janet MacIntyre agreed to discharge Hyde, but wrote a note on his Health Information Transfer form that Hyde was to be returned to the QEII emergency room after court, unless a judge had him sent for psychiatric treatment.
That didn’t end up happening. What did happen to the transfer form hasn’t yet been uncovered during the inquiry.

Haislip said he believed the doctor’s note would not have been passed onto Crown attorneys because it was not related to charges. He said no note was made on Hyde’s file because his commanding officer never ordered him to do so.

He also said he knew police would not be able to return Hyde to the emergency room because he would be in the custody of Sherriff Services at the time.