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Schoenborn hearing on Thursday

Allan Schoenborn - photo sUBMITTED
Allan Schoenborn
— image credit: photo sUBMITTED

A decision to allow child-killer Allan Schoenborn escorted day trips from a Coquitlam psychiatric institution where he now resides will be reviewed at a new hearing this week.

Two weeks ago, the B.C. Review board granted the community access but chairman Bernd Walter said new information has come to light. While he would not divulge the evidence, a doctor on the panel told CKNW that the board was not aware that Darcie Clarke, Schoenborn’s ex-wife, lived in the Tri-Cities.

“It came to my attention that some information had been disclosed through the media,” Walter said. “In my judgement, I felt that the information might affect the outcome.”

Walter confirmed that the panel at the original hearing did not  know where Clarke lived. He said the information is protected by the review board’s registry, in order to keep a potential victim’s personal information, including address and phone number, from the accused.

The new hearing is expected to take place at the Forensic Psychiatric Institution in Coquitlam on Thursday.

The hearing set off a firestorm of criticism against the review board, with numerous politicians and media commentators slamming the decision to allow Schoenborn restricted leaves. Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam council both sent letters to higher levels of government requesting a review of the matter.

But Walter said it is important for people to realize that the B.C. Review Board is a judicial process that is guided by evidence.

He singled out comments made by Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam Conservative MP James Moore, who blasted the review board, calling its decision “just wrong.”

“They should reverse it and they should give their heads a shake because common sense has clearly escaped their sense of judgement,” Moore, who is running for re-election, told CTV News last week. “I don’t care if [Schoenborn] is sedated, I don’t care if he is surrounded by corrections officers. It is just wrong.”

Walter said that Moore’s comments undermine the legal process. The Review Board, Walter added, is governed by law and makes its decisions based on evidence introduced during its hearings.

“I think it is troubling when a member of Parliament, who is supposed to understand  and uphold the institutions of our democracy, including the notion of an independent judiciary... comes up with comments that seem to think we can make decisions based on what we are feeling,” he said. “We can’t make decisions based on media coverage or public outrage, or else we might as well pack it up and let you guys make the decisions.”

The review board granted Schoenborn’s request this year after a similar request last year found him still too volatile to be allowed access to the community.

 

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

 

 

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