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B.C. Review Board denies Schoenborn's request for day pass

Allan Schoenborn, who has been housed at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farm since 2010, told a detention review hearing that controlled trips outside the facility would help with the progression of his treatment.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Allan Schoenborn, who has been housed at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farm since 2010, told a detention review hearing that controlled trips outside the facility would help with the progression of his treatment.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Child-killer Allan Schoenborn has been denied a request he be allowed escorted community day-trips outside the walls of the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, where he is currently housed.

Schoenborn has lived at the Colony Farm facility since 2010 after being found not criminally responsible for murdering his three children.

Within hours of the annual hearing, family members, including Schoenborn's ex-wife Darcie Clarke, the mother of the victims, were informed that there would be no changes to his custodial order.

"We are very relieved," said Stacy Galt, Clarke's cousin.

Earlier in the day, she told reporters that if Schoenborn were granted a day pass, he would escape and possibly try to harm his ex-wife.

"I was just so nervous," she said. "He's the type of person who would just disappear."

In April 2008, Schoenborn killed his three children — 10-year-old Kaitlynne, eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon — in Clarke's home in Merritt before fleeing and hiding in the woods for 11 days. Two years later, he admitted to the killing but pleaded not guilty; he was later found not criminally responsible for his crimes.

During Wednesday's hearing, Dr. Marcel Hediger, a psychiatrist at the hospital, said Schoenborn continues to have difficulty controlling his anger. And he said that because of Schoenborn's notoriety, there is an increased chance he could be provoked by a member of the public if he were granted day passes. Any confrontation, Hediger said, could trigger a violent response.

"I do think it is quite likely there could be a negative incident," Hediger said, later adding that "even in a controlled setting, he still has issues."

He noted that while Schoenborn has not been physically violent in the last few years, there have been several verbal altercations that staff have had to quickly de-escalate. As recently as Monday, he threatened to smash another patient in the head during a dispute over coffee, Hediger said.

For his own safety, Schoenborn is housed in a particularly secure and controlled unit within the hospital because of threats from other patients, the review board was told.

"Mr. Schoenborn has been the subject of negative attention by other patients in the hospital," Hediger said. "The risk of violence to Mr. Schoenborn is quite significant… It is a very active issue."

On Wednesday, Schoenborn told the B.C. Review Board that access to the community would help with the progression of his treatment.

"I'd like the opportunity to go outside the gate," he said. "Maybe have a swim or a cup of coffee."

He added that he has been making progress with his treatment and that his ability to control his anger has been improving.

"If it's not [granted] now, it will never be," he said. "I've waited patiently for four years."

At his first review hearing in April 2011, Schoenborn asked to be let out of Colony Farm on day passes so he could go out for coffee and use local recreational facilities.

The B.C. Review Board granted the request but Schoenborn eventually withdrew his application after widespread public outrage. The board said at the time it was unaware that Clarke was living with family in Coquitlam.

Last year, Schoenborn asked that he be transferred to a facility in Manitoba so he could be closer to his mother. The board granted the request, however the B.C. criminal justice branch denied the transfer.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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