The father, whose name is protected by a publication ban, said Magnotta’s mother insisted on home-schooling her sons, despite the fact she did not graduate from high school.
As a result, the boys had no friends and were isolated, the father testified.
“They were mixed-up kids and they still are,” Magnotta’s father said.
The father travelled from Ontario to testify today to “help [his] son,” and he had a clergyman sitting next to him for support during his testimony.
He told the court he was 17 and Magnotta’s mother 16 when she got pregnant and gave birth to Eric Clinton Kirk, Magnotta's birth name. He was named after Clint Eastwood and Kirk Douglas.
Another son followed less than a year later, and a daughter a few years after that.
Magnotta’s father said the boys were taught at home by their mother against his wishes, because she was clingy and wanted to have “total control over them.”
The family moved back to a Toronto suburb from a smaller town, and when the children started school Magnotta would get beat up, his father testified.
He also alleges Magnotta’s maternal side of the family mistreated the boys, and their maternal grandmother tried to get custody. “She wanted mostly Eric. She smothered him. She favoured him,” he said.
The young couple separated when Magnotta was around 11 or 12, the father struggled to recall.
He told the court he had a drinking problem for many years because of the problems he had with his wife’s family, but he quit when he realized he had a psychiatric problem.
The witness said Magnotta’s mother also had a problem with vodka.
After the couple split up, he started hearing voices, feeling angry and suicidal, and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is currently on antidepressants and anti-psychotic medication.
The father is the defence’s first witness. Lawyer Luc Leclair aims to prove Magnotta should not be held criminally responsible for his actions.
Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, but he has admitted to the physical acts behind the charges, including killing 33-year-old Jun Lin and committing an indignity to his body.
Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier, who officially rested his case this morning, says the killing was premeditated.
The trial continues this afternoon with more testimony from Magnotta’s father.