Public Warning About B.C. Animal Killer Carries 'Big Risk'

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KAYLA BOURQUE
A Vancouver psychiatrist says authorities had to walk a fine line in issuing a public warning about the release of a former Simon Fraser University student convicted of torturing and killing animals. (HO) | Handout

A Vancouver psychiatrist says authorities had to walk a fine line in issuing a public warning about the release of a former Simon Fraser University student convicted of torturing and killing animals.

Dr. Roy O'Shaughnessy, speaking about the release of Kayla Bourque, said authorities had little choice but to issue a public warning, given the former criminology student is deemed a high risk to reoffend.

Bourque was convicted in November of causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals, wilfully and without lawful excuse killing animals, and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

B.C.’s Ministry of Justice confirmed on Monday that the 23-year-old had been released on probation after serving just over seven months in custody.

“The difficulties I think the authorities have — in particular probation, police, court authorities — is their duty to primarily warn the public, and they have to exercise that in areas where we really don’t know the outcome,” said O’Shaughnessy, who was asked to comment on Bourque's release but was not personally associated with assessing her.

“This is kind of unusual circumstances and they are really in a challenging position.”

Warning could provoke Bourque

Bourque admitted to taking delight in killing animals and fantasizing about shooting homeless people. Several psychologists who interviewed Bourque found she showed no remorse or insight into her crimes.

One psychologist who spoke with Bourque before her sentencing last year testified she will likely require supervision for the rest of her life. Other doctors described her as a sexual sadist and narcissist with an anti-social personality disorder and sociopathic tendencies.

Bourque will be closely monitored by authorities and will have to abide by 46 court-ordered conditions that will severely restrict her movements and activities.

Under the conditions, Bourque is not allowed to have anyone in her home from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and anyone who does visit must be made fully aware of the charges she pleaded guilty to and their circumstances.

She can't associate with anyone under age 18 or access the internet. She is also banned from possessing duct tape, hypodermic needles or knives.

O'Shaughnessy says the tough probation conditions and the very public warning may actually make Bourque more inclined to act out.

“That warning may also carry with it a big risk — that it may in fact provoke her further, and may ostracize her from others and may in fact make her more alienated and angry and wanting to act out in an aggressive or violent way,” he said.

Bourque was adopted as an orphan from Romania at eight months old and grew up in Prince George, B.C.

Bourque was sentenced to one month in jail on each of the charges, but had already spent six months in custody by the time she was sentenced.

She was ordered to serve an additional two months in custody, in part so probation officials could prepare for her highly supervised release, and will now live in Vancouver.

Bourque is:

- Five feet four inches tall.

- Weighs 130 pounds.

- Has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone who sees or knows of Bourque breaching any of her release conditions is asked to contact authorities.

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