Conditional release proposed for Kachkar at ORB hearing
Richard Kachkar appears at an Ontario Review Board hearing on July 13, 2018. (John Mantha)
Katherine DeClerq, CP24.com
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 6:39PM EDT
The man found not criminally responsible for killing a Toronto police officer while driving a snowplow in 2011 appeared in court Friday as lawyers discussed the possibility of granting him a conditional discharge.
The widow of slain Toronto police Sgt. Ryan Russell appeared visibly upset by the potential of a conditional discharge, calling the board process “unfair”.
“Where is his accountability in all this,” Christine Russell said. “Why are so many people working for him and speaking for him when the victims and their families get little advocacy?”
Russell has read a victim impact statement at every single one of Richard Kachkar’s hearings.
“I get the life sentence to live without him, and my son will spend his whole life never knowing his father,” Russell said in in her statement, which was read at the annual Ontario Review Board hearing. “My husband was brave enough to try to stop you and you killed him and left him there to die alone on the street.”
Kachkar was found not criminally responsible for the officer’s death on account of a mental disorder in 2013.
He was held at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ont. until April 2017, when the Ontario Review Board, which decides if and how long a patient found not criminally responsible should be detained, allowed Kachkar to leave and live in the community. While living on his own, he was supervised by staff with the Canadian Mental health Association.
He was also granted passes for up to 10 hours to visit other areas in the Region of Durham and later obtained permission to travel up to 150 kilometers from his home to visit his daughter.
At Friday’s hearing, where a joint submission asked that Kachkar be granted a conditional discharge, the board heard he had been without symptoms for seven years. The submission also said that Kachkar was remorseful for the damage he’s caused.
But Russell said he still shouldn’t be granted a discharge.
“Receiving a conditional discharge after a mere five years is a joke,” she said after the hearing.
A decision regarding Kachkar’s conditional discharge is not expected for at least a week.
-With files from the Canadian Press