'I will now live in consistent fear': Mother of slain children worried about potential Schoenborn outings
'He could be in our community at any time without the public’s knowledge,' says Darcie Clarke
The mother of three children killed by Allan Schoenborn is speaking out about his potential release for outings in Coquitlam B.C. — not far from her own home.
On Friday, the B.C. Review Board ruled that Schoenborn, 49, must stay at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam but could be allowed escorted visits into the community.
He was found guilty of stabbing his daughter, Kaitlynne, and smothering his sons, Max and Cordon, in their mother's Merritt, B.C., mobile home in 2008. A judge later ruled that he was not criminally responsible for their deaths because he was experiencing psychosis at the time.
Darcie Clarke described the ruling as "horrible news" while writing on her website.
"I live in the Tri-Cities and I will now live in consistent fear," she wrote.
During his trial Schoenborn's defence lawyer Peter Wilson described his client as "delusional" and explained that he killed the children believing he was saving them.
"The fact that at some times Mr. Schoenborn seems odd, bizarre and crazy and at other times normal doesn't mean he's not ill. In fact, it's a classic feature of delusional disorder. This isn't someone who became ill in April 2008. He's got a long history. Psychosis has plagued Mr. Schoenborn since he was 19 years old," said Wilson.
Clarke said she does not believe that he is ready for this amount of freedom, and praised Crown for pushing to curtail this move.
"He could be in our community at any time without the public's knowledge because the Review Board does not have the public's safety as their paramount concern," wrote Clarke.
Any potential community visits must be under the supervision of the director of adult forensic psychiatric services, according to the decision.
His defence lawyer, Dante Abbey, argued that escorted outings are a crucial motivation tool to aid Schoenborn's recovery.
Abbey said there is a lot of evidence that prior to his arrest his client "fell through the cracks" of the mental health system, and has now undergone more sustained treatment than ever before in his life.
"The public really needs to understand that this a highly effective system. Psychiatric medicine really has come a long way. There is a lot of stigma attached to medical disorders, and there's this view that this person with a mental disorder is going to stay dangerous. But our experience is that the treatments are effective. We've see people drastically change. Drastically improve," Abbey told CBC.
Schoenborn is not allowed to use drugs or alcohol or have access to any weapons, and he's under an order to not make contact with Clarke and four other people, the review panel decision stipulates.