Convicted child-killer Allan Schoenborn seeks additional freedoms at B.C. Review Board hearing

Convicted child-killer Allan Schoenborn seeks additional freedoms at B.C. Review Board hearing

January 10, 2019

A man found guilty but not criminally responsible for killing his three young children in 2008 should be allowed more access to the community, his lawyer argued at a B.C. Review Board hearing Thursday.

However, doctors and Crown prosecutors testifying at the annual review said Allan Schoenborn still has ongoing challenges with emotional regulation and anger management and struggles in situations where he feels he is being disrespected.

That should disqualify him from leaving the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, where Schoenborn has been living since his 2010 conviction for first-degree murder, said his physician, Dr. Marcel Hediger, to the hearing’s tribunal.

“I don’t think staff-supported community outings are warranted at this time,” Hediger said.

Crown lawyers are echoing Hediger’s concerns, saying Schoenborn should be stripped of his ability to be granted escorted day passes out of the psychiatric hospital, a privilege that was upheld at an earlier review hearing in 2017.

Hediger told the hearing’s tribunal he doesn’t have a lot of confidence that Schoenborn would manage escorted visits to the community appropriately, citing an incident with a nurse at the hospital just this week.

The doctor also mentioned there would be concerns for public safety as well as Schoenborn’s own safety, since he has been the target of a murder plot and has been violently assaulted and threatened in the past.

Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible for killing his daughter and two sons at his family’s home in Merritt, B.C., because he was experiencing psychosis at the time and thought he was saving his children from sexual and physical abuse, though no evidence suggested this was the case.

He also did not receive a “high-risk accused” label in 2017 after a B.C. Supreme Court judge argued Schoenborn does not pose a high enough risk that he could cause grave physical or psychological harm to another person.

That designation, added to the Criminal Code in 2014, applies to people who have been declared not criminally responsible due to psychological reasons.

It would have lengthened the period between Schoenborn’s review board appearances and eliminated the possibility of him winning escorted day passes.

Schoenborn was granted escorted day passes at an earlier review board hearing in 2015 but has yet to leave the hospital.

His lawyer, Rishi Gill, has continued to argue his client’s psychosis is under control, thanks to continued medical and psychiatric treatment.

—With files from Simon Little and the Canadian Press

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