Parents question death at Barton Jail


A mother and father are demanding answers after their son died at the Barton Street Jail on Thursday.

The parents say their son was denied proper medical attention, and that his death could have been prevented.

Twenty-three-year-old Brennan Bowley died in his cell at the Hamilton Wentworth Detention Centre on Thursday night, approximately 48 hours after he was arrested.

According to the young man’s parents, the autopsy report concluded that he died of an accidental drug overdose.

Brennan Bowley’s parents say their son was arrested on Tuesday on charges of possession of drugs for trafficking, simple possession and breach of probation.

Two of his friends were arrested with him.

They were held at the Central Police Station, and thats when Bowley’s parents say things started to go wrong.

“His friend was in another holding cell and could hear him asking for medical attention and he was being denied” said Bowley’s mother.

Tamara Bowley believes her son was hiding a package of cocaine inside his body, she suspects it started to leak causing the overdose.

A day later, for his first court appearance, Bowley says her son was so ill that he threw up in the prisoner box in front of the judge. The next day, on Thursday, he was scheduled to be back in court, but did not make it. According to Brennan Bowley’s lawyer, Derek Martin, his client was then too sick to appear via video from the jail, something the lawyer says is unusual.

But Bowleys mother says she was assured by the jail that her son was ok, and did not need to go to the hospital when she called on Thursday night to check on him.

Two hours later, he was dead.

In a statement, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services would not comment specifically on Bowley’s death, but says inquests are mandatory on deaths that are not due to natural causes.

Tamara Bowley says after police conducted a search of her home on Tuesday, she claims a police sergeant told her she would soon be burying her son.

At the time, she said she did not think much of it, but now wonders if he knew that her son was asking for help. Hamilton Police Mountain Division Staff Sergeant said she had no knowledge of these allegations.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated police conducted a search on Tamara Bowley’s home on Wednesday. However, the search was actually conducted on Tuesday.



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