Hospital director given discretion to allow unescorted outings for B.C. child killer

Allan Schoenborn cannot possess any weapons or use alcohol or drugs, except those approved by a doctor

Allan Schoenborn is shown in an undated RCMP handout photo. A judge has rejected an application to have a British Columbia man designated a high-risk accused after he was found not criminally responsible for killing his three children nine years ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-BC RCMP MANDATORY CREDIT

The director of a psychiatric hospital in British Columbia has been given the discretion to allow unescorted outings in the community for a man who was found not criminally responsible for killing his three children.

The decision released Friday by the British Columbia Review Board says Allan Schoenborn cannot possess any weapons or use alcohol or drugs, except those approved by a doctor.

A lawyer for Schoenborn told a review board hearing on Thursday that the director’s decision to grant access would be based on any future progress made by his client in treatment at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.

Schoenborn has been held at the hospital since 2010 after he was found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder in the 2008 killings of his 10-year-old daughter and two sons, aged eight and five.

He was ordered held in custody at the psychiatric hospital with the review board having responsibility for his case.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Robert Lacroix told the review board panel he was not recommending Schoenborn be granted unescorted outings, but his progress in treatment has been “very positive” and it’s not an unrealistic possibility in the future.

At the hearing, the Crown acknowledged that Schoenborn’s condition has “vastly improved” over the years, but said it’s “premature” to consider the possibility of unescorted outings.

Crown attorney Michelle Booker had asked the board to consider Schoenborn’s ability to manage his anger, his history of non-compliance with authority, and whether he would be a flight risk.

Hearing chairman Steven Boorne told Schoenborn the reasons for the panel’s decision could be expected in four to six weeks.

The review board gave the hospital the discretion to grant Schoenborn staff-supported community outings in 2015, a condition the Crown sought to maintain.

He has participated in around 20 outings, which Lacroix described as “unremarkable.”

Booker noted that Schoenborn was involved in three physical altercations with other patients at the hospital last year. There had been no reported incidents over the previous three years.

Lacroix said all of the incidents involved provocation by other patients, adding Schoenborn has often shown restraint while being persistently taunted by other patients who are familiar with his case.

Lacroix said he interprets those incidents within the context of the institution, where reactionary behaviour is normative among the patients, and he does not believe Schoenborn would react the same way outside the hospital.

Schoenborn was diagnosed with delusional disorder and told his trial he killed the children to protect them from an imagined threat of sexual abuse.

His psychotic illness has been in remission for years, Lacroix said, adding there has been no evidence of his symptoms returning.

The psychiatrist said he would like to see Schoenborn participate in more community outings with increased interaction with the public and complete an ongoing drug and alcohol treatment program before the director might consider a request for unescorted community outings.

Initially, the outings would not be for leisure, but for psychosocial programs, said Lacroix, and risk assessments for specific destinations outside the hospital would also be required.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

COVID-19: Old Massett Emergency Operations Centre erects three checkpoints

Old Massett Village Council letter says checkpoint locations are New Town, Yakan Point, Old Massett

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read