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VPD Sgt. Corey Bech, a friend and advisor Vancouver Shelves Officer who died by suicide told a coroner legal investigation On Monday, Nichol feared that the department’s rumor mill would affect his reputation and career.
cast. Nicole Chan took his own life on January 27, 2019. The inquiry heard previous testimony that she had felt coerced into having sex by a senior officer, and had deepening mental health issues after she lodged a complaint against him and another senior officer.
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Bech told a coroner’s jury in Burnaby that he had spoken to Chan the day before he took his own life, and that he still felt guilt over her death.
“I still blame myself for not hearing her voice, or missing her in some way. That is what I mean by guilt,” he said outside the inquest.
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Bech, who said she was never in a sexual relationship with Chan, testified that she was devastated when no criminal charges were brought against Human Resources officer Sgt. Dave Van Patten.
The inquiry heard previous testimony that Van Patten had allegedly recorded images of his genitals that were on another officer’s phone, then threatened to send them to his spouse if she did not have sex with him. Make it
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Chan filed a complaint in 2017 naming Van Patten and was subsequently placed on stress leave.
Bech testified that Chan told him that it would be difficult for him to return to work if Van Patten continued his work.
An Office of the Police Act inquiry ordered by the Commissioner of Police Complaints later concluded that Van Patten had made four allegations of disorderly conduct.
He has never faced criminal charges and has denied all allegations.
Van Patten was eventually fired following Chan’s suicide.
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Bech told Jury Chan that the rumors in VPD could have a negative impact on his return to work.
“How can I come back? No boss would want to work with me,” Chan wrote in a notebook.
“I don’t want you to take me to court and keep this over my head for the next two years. I can’t do this anymore,” she wrote in another piece.
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“There were absolutely rumours,” Bech said outside Burnaby Coroner’s Court.
“You have a lot of people who work closely with each other, and people enjoy gossip.”
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The New Westminster Police Department handled both the Police Act and criminal investigations of Chan’s complaints.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police Chief David Jones, who headed the New Westminster department at the time, testified that a report had been sent to Crown counsel, but prosecutors decided not to proceed with charges.
He added that Van Patten is being investigated for sexual assault.
Chan’s other superior, Sgt. Greg McCullough was also investigated under the Police Act for having an inappropriate relationship with Chan, given his position. He was suspended for 15 days and later retired.
The investigation into Chan’s death is expected to be completed on Tuesday.
A coroner’s jury cannot assign blame but can make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.
– With files from Global News’ Rumina Daya
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, there are resources available. In an emergency, please call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.
For a directory of support services in your area, visit Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention at suicideprevention.ca.
learn more about Preventing suicide with these warning signs and tips on how to help,
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