Suffering delusions for years

Man not criminally responsible for random knife attack on neighbour

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For at least a decade, Gerald Chudy lived with an undiagnosed mental disorder that caused him to believe his Manitoba Avenue neighbours were "gang-stalking" him to the point they would break into his house and attack him in his sleep.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/01/2014 (3246 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For at least a decade, Gerald Chudy lived with an undiagnosed mental disorder that caused him to believe his Manitoba Avenue neighbours were “gang-stalking” him to the point they would break into his house and attack him in his sleep.

His neighbours felt “terrorized” and lived in fear because of Chudy’s bizarre actions and occasional outbursts toward them.

Neighbours wouldn’t take their kids out to play or do yardwork unless they had a lookout watching for him, court previously heard.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Neighbours of a Manitoba Avenue resident have feared the man because of his bizarre behaviour. He was found not criminally responsible for a July 28 outburst in which he stabbed a neighbour.

But Chudy may finally be getting the help he needs after being found not criminally responsible (NCR) for a random knife attack on two neighbours last summer.

Chudy’s fate sits in the hands of Manitoba’s Criminal Code Review Board, which must determine a treatment plan for him.

Provincial court Judge Dale Schille agreed with prosecutors and a defence lawyer last week that the 56-year-old was not criminally responsible for a July 28 outburst in which Chudy — armed with two knives — approached a neighbour and suddenly jabbed him with one in the chest.

He chased the man around his yard for several minutes as another neighbour filmed the incident with a cellphone camera.

Chudy briefly turned his attention to him but quickly returned to chasing the original victim, who suffered a minor stab wound and several defensive cuts to his hands.

Arrested soon after, Chudy’s been in custody since.

An in-custody mental health assessment led to a confirmed diagnosis he suffers from “delusional disorder, persecutorial-type,” Schille was told.

In recent months, through more in-depth psychological intervention, it was discovered his disorder is more acute than it initially appeared. He’s been harbouring delusions for about 10 to 12 years, court heard.

“The things that Mr. Chudy thinks are being done to him are far more intense and frightening and damaging than his neighbours simply breaking in in the middle of the night and assaulting him,” Crown attorney Susan Helenchilde said.

“It goes far, far beyond that.”

It will be an “uphill battle” to restore Chudy to a positive state of mental health, she added.

‘The things that Mr. Chudy thinks are being done to him are far more intense and frightening and damaging than his neighbours simply breaking in in the middle of the night’

“It’s living in constant fear that led him here,” said defence lawyer Brett Gladstone.

“The feeling of threats and victimization of a course of a great many years led him to this point.”

Chudy will be first on the list to be transferred from jail to a bed at a locked psychiatric wing at Health Sciences Centre, court heard.

It will be three months before the overtaxed review board is able to hear his case and determine a treatment plan for him, court heard.

Schille called it “unfortunate” Chudy’s past interactions with Manitoba’s mental-health system don’t qualify him for an involuntary admission and possible earlier diagnosis of his condition. Instead, his problem was allowed to continue.

Court has heard Chudy had been admitted to hospital several times in the past and was discharged each time with no medication or followup plan.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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