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The Globe and Mail

Inquiry to wrap up in Nova Scotia jail death

Closing submissions begin Tuesday at a public inquiry into the death of a mentally ill Nova Scotia man in a Halifax-area jail cell more than two years ago.

The official record says Howard Hyde died of a condition known as excited delirium as he struggled with jail guards.

But the inquiry heard in February from a clinical psychiatrist who said excited delirium is a term favoured by law enforcement and coroners, even though it is not accepted as a medical or psychiatric diagnosis.

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The 45-year-old Hyde was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his 20s.

He died on Nov. 22, 2007, a day after he was tasered up to five times by Halifax police shortly after his arrest for an alleged assault.

Officers have testified that Hyde was soaked in sweat and possessed superhuman strength as he tried to flee the building.

Hyde was later taken to hospital but he was released several hours later on the condition he get psychiatric help once he appeared before a judge, but that never happened.

Hyde died the next day as guards at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility wrestled him to the ground after he refused to walk down a hallway because he thought there were "demons" at the other end.

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