REVIEW BOARDS - Insanity or mental disorder - Dispositions - Absolute discharge

Law360 Canada (August 28, 2023, 8:54 AM EDT) -- Appeal by Person in Charge of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (Hospital) decision of Ontario Review Board (Board) to grant Smith absolute discharge on grounds that decision was unreasonable. Smith attacked his mother and assaulted a neighbour who attempted to intervene on her behalf. He was later found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder on index charges of assault and uttering a threat to cause death. He remained detained at the Hospital on a detention order until his initial discharge into the community. Smith was readmitted to the Hospital after testing positive for cocaine. At the 2022 review hearing which gave rise to the disposition under appeal, the evidence included a July 2022 psychological report, in which Dr. Sheridan assessed Smith’s risk for future violence as moderately high without the oversight of the Board and the Forensic Outpatient Program. It noted Smith’s limited insight into his mental illness and need for treatment. The Board’s decision to grant an absolute discharge was not unanimous. The majority, comprised of the two legal representatives and member from the public, could not make a positive or affirmative finding of significant threat and therefore granted an absolute discharge....
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