Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inquest Told Young People Were Drunk as They Climbed Catwalk at Arts Centre

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inquest Told Young People Were Drunk as They Climbed Catwalk at Arts Centre

Article excerpt

Inquest told young people were drunk

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REGINA - A young man has testified he and two friends were drunkenly exploring a theatre catwalk in the pitch dark when one of them fell to their death.

Mason Smyth says he and Todd Horrocks were with Jaidan Lynn Slaferek on Jan. 15, 2012, when she plummeted 12 metres to the floor at the Conexus Arts Centre.

He says he had been holding her hand for balance, but then he let go.

A coroner's inquest is looking into the circumstances of the incident and the jury will make recommendations to prevent future deaths but will not be assigning blame.

Smyth testified Wednesday that he and his friends had been drinking for a few hours before they decided to try sneaking into a formal dance at the facility.

He admitted he had so much to drink he can't remember the circumstances clearly.

They didn't have tickets but Smyth said they just walked in without being questioned by anyone. He admitted someone in the group also carried a large bottle of whisky which they were drinking at a table during the dance.

As the night went on, Smyth said he, Jaidan and Horrocks went outside to smoke and made their way around the building looking for another open door to go exploring.

They eventually got back inside and found an elevator which took them to the top floor.

Smyth did remember going through at least two doors marked "Danger, Do Not Enter" or "Authorized Personnel Only" but said the trio kept going despite knowing they shouldn't be there. …

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