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Man who killed his three children while mentally ill should be considered for supervised outings in future, board says

A man who killed his three children while mentally ill remains a threat to the public’s safety but should still be assessed for supervised outings in the future, the B.C. Review Board has said.

The board said Allan Schoenborn, 50, ought to be considered for the outings within six months.

He has been held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital since before a 2010 court decision that found him not criminally responsible for killing his daughter and two sons.

In a written decision released Wednesday, the three-member panel said Schoenborn is making progress in treatment, but is being delayed by the risk of harm to him because he’s a target for others in the institution.

<who> Photo credit: RCMP

The Crown had asked that the review board remove the condition that Schoenborn be considered for escorted outings until he was mentally stable and his risk was manageable.

The panel members said in their decision that detention remains necessary, but note that Schoenborn is no different than others at the hospital who are granted access to the community.

The ruling said the unique obstacles to Schoenborn in this case are the acute level of threat to him and his public profile, something the man has no control over.

It read: “Mr. Schoenborn has properly been subject to the full weight of the criminal justice system for close to a decade. There exists no principled reason or basis why he should be deprived of the policy objectives and presumptions Parliament has seen fit to entrench in the code for all (not criminally responsible) accused persons.”

In a partial dissenting ruling, board chairman Bernd Walter said he would have been persuaded to order highly limited outings for Schoenborn under strict conditions.

“I cannot recall another accused who, having demonstrated the clinical response and the therapeutic progress that Mr. Schoenborn has, would after nine years in custody continue to be denied such a modest step.”

With files from the Canadian Press

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