December 9, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. -- Clean-shaven and quiet, a far cry from the wild-eyed child killer who yelled at his victims' mother at his murder trial, Allan Schoenborn asked a B.C. Review Board panel Friday to recommend his transfer from British Columbia to a psychiatric hospital in Manitoba, where his mother and other family members would be able to visit him.
The Selkirk Mental Health Centre is the same facility that houses Vince Li, who beheaded passenger Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in July 2008.
In a hearing that took less than half an hour, the man found not criminally responsible due to mental disorder in the slayings of his three children did not seek any passes to leave the secure hospital.
"My family is in Winnipeg. I was born and raised in Winnipeg. It's the right place to be," Schoenborn told the three members of the review board panel.
His mother has come from Manitoba to visit him at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in suburban Port Coquitlam several times, he said.
"She loves me and I love her," he told the panel members.
"Do you have any support here in B.C.?" asked Barry Long, a lawyer who served as chairman of the panel.
"No," answered Schoenborn, who was dressed in jeans and a denim shirt.
"If you go to the hospital in Manitoba, do you think your family will go and visit you there?" Long asked.
"Yes, definitely," Schoenborn said.
Few cases in the recent annals of Canadian justice have sparked as much collective public outrage as the horrific deaths of 10-year-old Kaitlynne, eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon.
Schoenborn stabbed his daughter and then smothered his sons in April 2008, leaving their bodies to be found by their mother, Darcie Clarke.
At his trial, among violent outbursts and threats, he testified he killed the children to protect them from an imagined threat of sexual abuse. The Crown argued the killings were the product of jealousy and rage after Clarke left him and moved to Merritt, B.C.
The public reaction has added to the challenge of treatment, Dr. Marcel Hediger, Schoenborn's psychiatrist, told the panel.
"He has experienced some somewhat unique hurdles... because of the notoriety of his crime," Hediger said. It has also "created some challenges for us within this facility."
Hediger said he is not opposed to the transfer, adding that having closer contact with family would benefit Schoenborn.
Two years ago, the review board's decision to grant him the possibility of supervised leave from the hospital sparked further controversy. A few weeks later, Schoenborn withdrew his request, but in the interim was badly beaten by two fellow patients.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 16, 2013 A4