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

WEATHER: Flurries, showers, clouds forecasted for Langley

Temperatures will reach a high of 8 C

VIDEO: Langley homeowner surprised by outcome of assessment appeal

After a property next door was assessed lower, she won a reduction, but so did the other owner

Langley School District assessing how to help students connect to class from home

Telus, Electronic Recycling Association, and Education Ministry all announced new programs to help

Aldergrove Girl Guides feel ‘lucky’ that FreshCo is selling their cookies

FreshCo currently selling 1,800 boxes of the popular sweets to help support the group amid COVID-19

Alder Grove Heritage Society is on a hunt for local memories and memorabilia

‘If we don’t share those stories they will be forgotten’ urges society president Tami Quiring

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

Most Read