High risk accused hearing proceeds for mentally ill dad who killed his children

Crown prosecutors will be in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster today, seeking to apply a new law on a mentally ill father who killed his three young children.

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — Crown prosecutors will be in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster today, seeking to apply a new law on a mentally ill father who killed his three young children.

Allan Schoenborn has been found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder for the April, 2008 killings of his 10-year-old daughter and eight and five-year-old sons, at their Merritt, B.C., home.

He has been held in a forensic psychiatric facility since then, eligible for yearly detention reviews, and recently granted escorted day passes, despite the opposition of the victims’ mother.

The new law, Bill C-14, establishes the designation of “high risk accused,” indefinitely halting any absence from a mental facility and extending the review period to once every three years.

In a radio ad released Thursday, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper refers to what it calls the tragic story of Schoenborn, stating that public safety is key in handling such criminals.

The ad angers mental health experts who say it criminalizes the mentally ill, while Schoenborn’s lawyer calls Harper’s ad prejudicial in advance of the hearing.

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