Judge: ‘Killing makes no sense’

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - SPORTS - LIAM CASEY

TORONTO — A Toronto woman who fa­tally stabbed a com­plete stranger nearly three years ago was suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness so se­vere that she didn’t know her ac­tions were wrong, a judge ruled Tuesday as he found her not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack.

Ro­hinie Bis­esar, who pleaded not guilty to first-de­gree mur­der, suf­fered from schizophre­nia when she chose to tar­get Rose­marie Junor in De­cem­ber 2015, said Jus­tice John McMa­hon.

“Be­cause of the schizophre­nia, she was in­ca­pable of know­ing the killing was morally and legally wrong,” the judge said. “This tragic stab­bing of an in­no­cent young woman can only be de­scribed as a sense­less and mo­tive­less killing.”

Junor, 28, died af­ter Bis­esar stabbed her in the chest at a Shop­pers Drug Mart in Toronto’s fi­nan­cial district. In­ves­ti­ga­tors found no prior link be­tween the two women.

“The bizarre na­ture of this killing … makes no sense on ra­tio­nal thought,” McMa­hon said as Junor’s mother and hus­band cried in­side the packed court­room.

McMa­hon said Bis­esar will now be sent to a se­cure wing of a men­tal health hos­pi­tal in Toronto un­til she has a hear­ing with the On­tario Re­view Board, which de­cides if and how not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble pa­tients should be de­tained.

Af­ter the rul­ing, Junor’s fam­ily and friends took turns de­liv­er­ing vic­tim im­pact state­ments in which they ex­pressed their dev­as­tat­ing loss.

“We prayed and asked God to switch places with her,” Junor’s mother, Rosalind, told the court. “I have anx­i­ety at­tacks and my heart is bro­ken. My hus­band is not the same. Rose­marie was his princess.”

At one point, McMa­hon told Junor’s weep­ing par­ents that he wished he had “some magic power” to bring their daugh­ter back. Junor’s mother re­sponded by urg­ing the judge to tell his own chil­dren that he loved them.

Other friends and rel­a­tives spoke about their love for Junor, call­ing her Kim and not­ing that she had mar­ried in Au­gust 2015, just months be­fore her death.

The new­ly­wed cou­ple had bought a house and in­vited the en­tire fam­ily over for Thanks­giv­ing, said her brother, Richard Junor.

“Kim­ber­ley was my favourite,” he said.

Bis­esar, 43, sat in si­lence through­out the pro­ceed­ings.

Both Crown and de­fence lawyers had said she should be found not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble in Rose­marie Junor’s death.

A foren­sic psy­chi­a­trist who was the only wit­ness to tes­tify at the one-day trial last week con­cluded Bis­esar was in the throes of a psy­chi­atric break­down due to un­treated schizophre­nia at the time of the at­tack.

Court heard that a sec­ond psy­chi­a­trist agreed with that as­sess­ment and both re­ported that Bis­esar suf­fered from se­vere hal­lu­ci­na­tions and delu­sions that man­i­fested as a voice com­mand­ing her to harm some­one.

The stab­bing — which was cap­tured en­tirely on sur­veil­lance video — took place on Dec. 11, 2015, when Junor, an ul­tra­sound tech­ni­cian, was at the drug store dur­ing a break from work.

The trial heard that Bis­esar walked into the store just be­fore 3 p.m., went straight up to Junor and stabbed her in the chest with a knife. Bis­esar then placed the knife on a counter and walked out of the store. The en­tire in­ci­dent took about a minute.

Junor was rushed to a hos­pi­tal, where she died four days later. That same day, po­lice ar­rested Bis­esar.

Court heard that Bis­esar didn’t ini­tially be­lieve Junor was dead, say­ing she was in hid­ing.

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