NEWS
03/31/2016 15:23 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 01:12 EDT

Father found not criminally responsible in daughter's backyard stabbing

LONDON, Ont. — An Ontario man has been found not criminally responsible for trying to kill his five-year-old daughter in a stabbing that took place in the family backyard.

The 38-year-old London, Ont., man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his child, was charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of the little girl. 

A court heard the man was having a psychotic break and hearing voices in his head which told him to sacrifice his daughter on a day in May 2015.

The girl was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries but has since recovered from her physical wounds.

The man's lawyer says her client was very ill at the time and is "incredibly motivated" to be treated, as ordered by the court.

Frances Brennan says the man had been taken to a hospital before the stabbing to be treated for severe psychosis but was released without a plan for treatment at that time. She says his condition then deteriorated.

"It's a relief to him that it's now understood that this wasn't him. The man who committed those acts was sick and very ill," she said. "If he could take it back, he certainly would."

Brennan said the man is a loving father who landed before a criminal court because of his illness.

"He will do anything for those children," she said. "He now has to live with the consequences of what happened while he was in the throes of that illness, that was preventable."

The man hopes to mend fences with his family in the future, Brennan said, and is committed to making sure his illness never poses a threat to anyone again.

"It must be terrifying to know that you have an illness of that degree and he has absolutely come to grips with that," she said.

(AM980/The Canadian Press)

 

The Canadian Press