BRITISH COLUMBIA

Allan Schoenborn Shouldn't Be Allowed To Leave Psychiatric Hospital: B.C. Family

02/26/2015 12:58 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT
BC RCMP
COQUITLAM, B.C. - A panel considering whether a father who murdered his three children should be granted outings from a psychiatric hospital has heard the B.C. man wants to take a rehabilitation course in cooking bacon.

A caseworker for Allan Schoenborn has told the B.C. Review Board that the man is making progress by considering the very specific course after refusing most programs.

Doctors at a facility in Coquitlam are advocating for Schoenborn's supervised release nearly seven years after he stabbed and smothered his children in their Merritt, B.C., home.

But a spokesman for Darcie Clark, the children's mother, says the family wants Schoenborn to be labelled high risk so he won't be permitted to leave the hospital grounds.

A Crown lawyer at the hearing opposed Schoenborn's release, listing 11 instances of verbal or physical confrontations over the past year that she says demonstrate anger issues that pose a threat to the public.

Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder after stabbing and smothering 10-year-old Kaitlynne, eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon.

Earlier in the hearing on Thursday, Clark's cousin became upset and walked out, prompting a break in proceedings.

Speaking for the family, Dave Teixeira said Stacy Galt's outburst was triggered after the panel refused to allow Crown lawyer Wendy Dawson to present more facts about Schoenborn's history.

"What we've been saying all along is, this review board likes to work in silence from their ivory tower and not allow the public to see what's going on," he said in an interview. "What Stacy and Darcie have been phenomenal about doing is shining a bright light on the dysfunction of this B.C. Review Board."

The Justice Ministry is considering whether to seek a "high-risk accused" designation, which can only be applied by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

The label would enable the province to activate recent federal legislation that provides leeway for the board to extend the period between annual review hearings from one to three years.

The family of the three children is pushing for the designation, in spite of the psychiatrist's recommendation.

The panel has heard that Schoenborn spends most of his day cloistered in his room, sleeping. He has participated in anger-management therapy and accepted chaplain visits.

At least 40 instances of angry behaviour have been recorded for Schoenborn since he was institutionalized in April 2010, the panel has heard.

His psychiatrist has said that one of the biggest challenges has been getting Schoenborn to admit that anger played a role in the 2008 killings.

The hearing was adjourned early so the panel could consider whether to permit a new expert witness supplied by the Crown.

Teixeira said the expert would provide reasons for why Schoenborn is not fit for even limited release.

"The Crown is exposing holes in the doctors' arguments, and by bringing in an expert witness to counter, that's something that has not happened in the Schoenborn case, ever."

A date has yet to be set for the next hearing.