2020-06-10

East Ironbound Island senior accused of not reporting man’s death

by Keith Corcoran

A Lunenburg County senior was recently scheduled to be arraigned in a Bridgewater court for not notifying the proper authorities about the death of a man on an island off the Aspotogan Peninsula.

Patricia Ann Hughes, 72, of East Ironbound Island, is charged under the Fatality Investigations Act with failing to contact a medical examiner or investigator about the death of William Frank Anderson where the cause of death was undetermined.

The allegation, which captures the timeframe between November 15, 2018 and June 17, 2019, was filed March 23.

At some point it was determined there was no foul play in the death, said provincial Crown prosecutor Keavin-Mathieu Finnerty.

"The charge that is laid is a provincial offence it is not a Criminal Code charge," he told LighthouseNOW.

A RCMP report to a municipal council in March referenced a completed investigation "into a male who had been deceased for several months inside a Lunenburg County residence" and the "cause and manner of death are not believed to be suspicious ..."

LighthouseNOW has reached out to RCMP for comment about the allegation and circumstances.

It's believed Hughes and Anderson lived in the same household but information about their personal connection wasn't immediately clear.

"I don't have confirmation of the exact relationship between the parties," Finnerty said June 2.

The penalty under the legislation is a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail.

Hughes is presumed innocent and the charge has not been tested in court. Her case was adjourned to later in the summer as the matter navigates the legal system.

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