Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'High-Risk' Label in Law Created by Tories Sought for B.C. Dad Who Killed 3 Kids

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'High-Risk' Label in Law Created by Tories Sought for B.C. Dad Who Killed 3 Kids

Article excerpt

Dad who killed kids high-risk for violence: Crown


NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. - The Crown will argue that a mentally ill British Columbia man who killed his three children has a decades-long history of violence, a court has heard.

Prosecutors opened their case Monday in B.C. Supreme Court seeking a "high-risk accused" designation for Allan Schoenborn, 48, who was found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder for the April 2008 slayings.

It is the most high-profile case of its kind in Canada involving the designation created by the former Conservative government. Former prime minister Stephen Harper announced the change with the family of Schoenborn's victims in February 2013, but mental health experts said its treatment approach isn't based on science and doesn't increase public safety.

Schoenborn stabbed his 10-year-old daughter Kaitlynne and smothered his two sons Max and Cordon, eight and five, at their Merritt, B.C., mobile home.

Lawyer Wendy Dawson told a judge Monday that the killings were so brutal that they indicate Schoenborn presents a serious risk of physical and psychological harm to others.

"We also intend to prove there is a substantial likelihood that Allan Schoenborn will use violence that could endanger the life or safety of another person because he has been a violent person in excess of 30 years," Dawson said.

Schoenborn has received "fairly extensive" treatment while he has lived at the secure Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in suburban Vancouver, but his anger management problems have persisted, she told the court.

Dawson plans to submit records of at least 85 acts of aggression, including about four episodes of physical aggression against other patients and staff.

"Schoenborn has shown that he is unable to control his aggression and violent tendencies."

The new high-risk accused designation in the Criminal Code includes provisions that can stop almost all of a person's absences from a psychiatric hospital and has the potential to extend annual review hearings to once every three years. …

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