Toronto

Woman facing terror-related charges after Canadian Tire attack will have psychiatric assessment

An Ontario judge has ordered a mental health assessment to determine if alleged terrorist Rehab Dughmosh is fit to stand trial on terrorism-related charges.

Ontario judge orders psychiatric assessment to determine if Rehab Dughmosh is fit to stand trial

Rehab Dughmosh, 32, will undergo a five-day psychiatric assessment at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ont. (Pam Davies/CBC)

An Ontario judge has ordered a psychiatric assessment to determine if alleged terrorist Rehab Dughmosh is fit to stand trial on terrorism-related charges.

Dughmosh, 32, is accused of threatening employees at a Canadian Tire store in Scarborough with a knife on June 3 and pledging her allegiance to ISIS. 

"I am pledged to the leaders of the believers, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," Dughmosh said in reference to the leader of the Islamic State during a June court appearance.  

Dughmosh faces 14 terror-related charges

She faces 21 charges total, including 14 terror-related charges under Section 83.2 of the Criminal Code, federal Crown prosecutor Howard Piafsky told CBC News previously. 

The section bans "terrorist activity," whether it takes place "in or outside Canada."

These offences include one count of participating in terrorist activity, which relates to Dughmosh's alleged travel to Turkey and attempt to enter Syria in April 2016.

Psychiatric assessment ordered for 'reasonable grounds'

Justice Kimberley Crosbie asserted she has "reasonable grounds" to believe a psychiatric assessment is necessary, under Section 672.23 of the Criminal Code, due to the Toronto woman's behaviour throughout her court appearances. 

Dughmosh refused leave her cell at Vanier Centre for Women in Milton, Ont., on Monday to appear by video in court.

She has also refused to attend court three times before. On Aug. 21, Dughmosh appeared in handcuffs, flanked by two correctional officers, stripped of her niqab after a judge ordered staff at the centre to retrieve her from her cell by force.

Throughout the appearance, Dughmosh repeated, "you're all infidels. I do not pray to the God you worship," several times in Arabic. 

Crosbie ruled it wasn't required for Dughmosh to be brought in by force on Monday after a correctional officer testified she had been pepper-sprayed earlier because she had acted aggressively towards staff.

In her absence, counsel assigned lawyer Ingrid Grant to represent Dughmosh. 

'Isolation behaviour'

Crosbie stated there was nothing in the accused's first two court appearances to make her believe she was unfit to stand trial.

"She was responsive to my questions and engaged. She even pleaded guilty," she noted. 

On Aug. 15, when Dughmosh refused to leave her cell, federal Crown prosecutor asserted she may be mentally unfit.

During Monday's appearance, a correctional officer said the accused has refused to wash or shower since her arrest. 

Crosbie asserted this behaviour ultimately caused her to be concerned about Dughmosh's ability to understand the charges.

"Her isolation behaviour may indicate underlying mental health issues," Crosbie noted in her decision.

Dughmosh will undergo a five day psychiatric assessment at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ont. 

Results from the assessment will be presented in court on Sept. 6.