Charges stayed against former coroner over Langley case

Charges of interfering with a dead body and breach of trust have been stayed against a former B.C. coroner accused of inappropriately touching a murder victim during an examination.

Kenneth Glen Mattinson, 64, appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on Jan. 23.

The investigation into Mattinson’s actions began in March 2009, when forensic identification officers were collecting evidence at the scene of the murder of 36-year-old Laura Lamoureux in Langley. One officer noticed what appeared to be a pattern of “possibly criminal behaviour” by the coroner.

The officer told Integrated Homicide Investigation Team members, who turned the investigation over to Langley RCMP serious crimes.

Mattinson’s examination at the scene of the homicide of 22-year-old Brianna Kinnear in Coquitlam in February 2009 was also called into question.

Following a preliminary inquiry in January 2013, charges of interfering with a dead body and breach of trust were dropped in connection with Kinnear’s case.

Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said the Crown determined there was not sufficient evidence to proceed to trial on the charges.

“Crown concluded after hearing the evidence at the preliminary inquiry they would not seek committal on those charges,” he said.

Mattinson was ordered to stand trial on the charges in the Lamoureux case, but after considering the evidence from the preliminary inquiry and the fact that at the time of the alleged offence the B.C. Coroners Service had a policy allowing head-to-toe examination of a body at the scene by the coroner, Crown decided last week to stay the charges.

“While it may have been conducted in what appeared to be an insensitive manner… it was not conduct that the Crown could prove was criminal,” MacKenzie said.

Mattison retired from the B.C. Coroners Service shortly after the investigation into his actions began.

– Jennifer Saltman is a Vancouver Province reporter.

To read more from the Vancouver Province, click HERE.

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