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Committee considers expanded freedom for bus beheader

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Vince Li will find out in one week whether he’ll be allowed to visit Lockport and Winnipeg in the company of a hospital staff member and a security guard.

The request for the increased freedoms were made today before a four-member Manitoba review board panel at the Manitoba Law Courts.

The panel heard that the medicated Li no longer suffers from hallucinations and has been a model patient at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.

Li killed and dismembered Tim McLean on a Greyhound in July 2008 near Portage la Prairie, but was found not criminally responsible for the crime. A judge ruled Li was suffering hallucinations from untreated schizophrenia at the time of the unprovoked attack.

On Monday, the review board was told Li understands and appreciates the gravity of his offence. Dr. Steven Kremer told the board there is not more much the health centre can do to treat him.

"I think that he has reached a baseline, a good clinical baseline," Kremer said.

Crown attorney Susan Helenchilde did not oppose the additional escorts for Li, as long as they involved a security officer to accompany Li and the hospital staff member.

"We do not know what Mr. Li will do if provoked," she said, calling the crime the most macabre in Manitoba history and "stunningly atrocious."

While Li would be escorted by a security guard and a hospital worker at all times, the supervision would no longer be one-to-one — other patients could be on the trip.

Li also asked for unescorted passes for the grounds of the health centre. His lawyer Alan Libman said there was no fear Li would attempt to escape.

"He’s done everything he’s been asked to do by the treatment team," Libman said.

Last year, Li was granted temporary escorted passes that allowed him to walk out of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre for visits in the community of Selkirk.

On Monday the hearing was told that while there were no specific threats against Li, hospital staff feel threatened while out with him -- not because of anything he might do, but because of his notoriety.

History

Updated on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM CDT: Adds details from hearing.

4:49 PM: Corrects spelling of name.

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