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

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

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read