Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Woman Found Not Criminally Responsible in Fatal Toronto Stabbing

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Woman Found Not Criminally Responsible in Fatal Toronto Stabbing

Article excerpt

Woman not criminally responsible for fatal stabbing

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TORONTO - A Toronto woman who fatally stabbed a complete stranger nearly three years ago was suffering from mental illness so severe that she didn't know her actions were wrong, a judge ruled Tuesday as he found her not criminally responsible for the attack.

Rohinie Bisesar, who pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, had untreated schizophrenia when she chose to target Rosemarie Junor in December 2015, said Justice John McMahon.

"Because of the schizophrenia, she was incapable of knowing the killing was morally and legally wrong," the judge said. "This tragic stabbing of an innocent young woman can only be described as a senseless and motiveless killing."

Junor, 28, died after Bisesar stabbed her in the chest at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto's financial district. Investigators found no prior link between the two women.

"The bizarre nature of this killing ... makes no sense on rational thought," McMahon said as Junor's mother and husband cried inside the packed courtroom.

McMahon said Bisesar will now be sent to a secure wing of a mental health hospital in Toronto until she has a hearing with the Ontario Review Board, which decides if and how not criminally responsible patients should be detained.

She will appear before the board within 90 days, court heard. Her lawyer later said he expects Bisesar to remain at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for the foreseeable future.

After McMahon delivered his ruling, Junor's family and friends took turns delivering victim impact statements in which they detailed their devastating loss.

"We prayed and asked God to switch places with her," Junor's mother, Rosalind, told the court. "I have anxiety attacks and my heart is broken. My husband is not the same. Rosemarie was his princess."

At one point, McMahon told Junor's weeping parents that he wished he had "some magic power" to bring their daughter back. …

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