COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – Three-time child killer Allan Schoenborn has been granted escorted leaves into the community, at the discretion of psychiatric authorities.
The BC Review Board released its decision following an annual review of the 49-year-old’s case. According to the board, he must remain at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, but may be allowed escorted visits if the facility director approves.
Dave Teixeira, who speaks for Schoenborn’s former partner, says the family is very disappointed. “This has not been a kind year to Darcie Clarke and family, nor has it been a kind year to victims of crime in Canada,” he tells NEWS 1130.
He points out only “up to two” occupational safety workers would escort Schoenborn out, should he be granted leave. “We saw this past summer. The patient could just merely walk away from that… that’s the concern.”
He’s referring to the disappearance of convicted killer Terrance Scott Geisbrecht from the institution on July 21. He was located on July 24.
Teixeira calls the director who would ultimately grant the leaves Schoenborn applies for his “best advocate,” noting that the doctor thought Schoeborn deserved outings as early as 2011.
He says Clarke’s family was denied a request to be notified by the BC Review Board of the child killer’s whereabouts on days he was allowed out.
“While the escorted leaves have not yet been granted, the fact that they can be granted and the fact that the family will not be notified is just this swinging sword above their heads. They don’t want to run into the man who murdered their three children. They would, at the very least, like to see them get notified, at very best like to see Schoenborn remain in custody where he has a focus of getting better, not plotting to get away or get out.”
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In a statement, Clarke calls the ruling “horrible news,” and adds leaving the possibility of escorted visits at the discretion of a director at the Colony Farm Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Johann Brink, of “no comfort” to her.
“I live in the Tri-Cities and I will now live in consistent fear that he will move ahead with his threats against me, because as he has said, I am ‘unfinished business’,” her statement reads. “[Brink] is the same man who wanted to give Allan full release in 2011 after just one year in custody. This is the man who has said victims do not have the right to know what is happening with an NCR (not criminally responsible) accused.”
In September, a BC Supreme Court judge rejected the Crown’s request that Schoenborn be given the “high risk” designation. That would have denied him any outings from the forensic hospital for at least three years.
The designation has yet to be successfully applied since Harper’s government introduced the legislation in 2013.
Schoenborn was found guilty of stabbing his daughter and smothering his two sons in their home in Merritt in April 2008, but a judge later ruled he was not criminally responsible for the deaths because he was experiencing psychosis at the time.
Schoenborn had been seeking the passes even though his therapist testified last week there were anger management issues. Crown counsel Wendy Dawson has argued that the board should withdraw the discretionary power it gave the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam two years ago to allow Schoenborn accompanied access into the community.
Defence lawyer Dante Abbey says the possibility of escorted outings is an important tool to motivate Schoenborn in his recovery and withdrawing it would do further harm.
Darcie Clarke’s full statement:
After a near five month delay between the first and second day of the B.C. Review Board hearing plus an additional week for a ruling, we have horrible news. That is, Allan Schoenborn, the man who murdered my three children – Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon – has once again been granted outings into our community.
While the escorted leaves are at the discretion of Dr. Johann Brink at Colony Farm Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, this is of no comfort to me. This is the same man who wanted to give Allan full release in 2011 after just one year in custody. This is the man who has said victims do not have the right to know what is happening with an NCR (not criminally responsible) accused.
Allan’s own doctors do not believe he will be ready for years – if ever – to have such leave. The only people who were pushing for these freedoms were Allan, his lawyers and the hospital administrator, Dr. Johann Brink and now the three members of the B.C. Review Board.
So what’s next? For Allan, 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. I live in the Tri-Cities and I will now live in consistent fear that he will move ahead with his threats against me, because as he has said, I am “unfinished business”. Should he escape custody, there are no requirements for Colony Farm to warn the community nor get law enforcement involved in his capture. Instead, they only need to gain assistance of occupational health workers and notify Dr. Brink at Colony Farm.
While I am disappointed with this outcome I cannot thank Crown Council Wendy Dawson and Trevor Shaw enough for their thoughtfulness, professionalism empathy and tenacity. They are true advocates for victims and public safety.
For everyone who has supported me over years, thank-you. And thank-you for your continued support as we move forward to protect the rights of victims all across Canada.
For the politicians and members of the B.C. Review Board who allowed this decision to happen, let me ask you: would you want a triple child killer to spend time with you or your family in your community? If you answered “yes”, you are lying. If you answered, “no”, then what are you doing to fix our broken legal and mental health systems?