November 6, 2018 7:11 am
Updated: November 6, 2018 8:25 pm

Toronto woman found not criminally responsible for fatal PATH stabbing

WATCH ABOVE: Rohinie Bisesar was found not criminally responsible for the fatal stabbing of Rosemarie Junor, a complete stranger, in a Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto's PATH in 2015. The family of Junor says there is no justice and hopes Bisesar is never released from a psychiatric hospital. Catherine McDonald has more.


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, had untreated schizophrenia when she chose to target Rosemarie Junor in December 2015, said Justice John McMahon.

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READ MORE: Toronto woman accused in fatal 2015 PATH stabbing should be found not criminally responsible: lawyers

“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.

WATCH: Lawyer for Rohinie Bisesar reacts to verdict: ‘this is tragic for for everybody’

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.

She will appear before the board within 90 days, court heard. Her lawyer later said he expects Bisesar to remain at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for the foreseeable future.

After McMahon delivered his ruling, Junor’s family and friends took turns delivering victim impact statements in which they detailed 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.”

WATCH: Victim’s family says ‘too late’ for apology after Rohinie Bisesar found not criminally responsible

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.

READ MORE: Toronto woman charged in fatal 2015 PATH stabbing fit to stand trial, jury finds

Outside court, the Junor family said they were angry at the outcome of the case. Rosemarie Junor’s mother also said she was disappointed Bisesar never apologized for killing her daughter.

“It’s too late for an apology,” she said through tears.

Both Crown and defence lawyers had said Bisesar should be found not criminally responsible in the case.

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.

WATCH: Most tragic aspect of mental health is ‘lack of insight’ into condition: lawyer

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.

WATCH: Victim’s family says ‘too late’ for apology after Rohinie Bisesar found not criminally responsible

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. Police arrested Bisesar that same day.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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