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Man found criminally responsible in beating of autistic boy in London

file. Getty Images

LONDON, Ont. – A 24-year-old London, Ont., man has been found criminally responsible in the brutal beating of a boy half his age at a child development centre.

The ruling sends Greg Simard to prison, not a psychiatric institution.

Simard earlier pleaded guilty to attempted murder in connection with the attack last September at the Child and Parent Resource Institute, which left the autistic 12-year-old with permanent brain damage.

His lawyer had argued Simard was schizophrenic and could not have known what he did was wrong, while the Crown argued he was likely affected by drug-induced psychosis.

Simard said in an agreed statement of facts that he was acting on orders from the government to try and kill the boy, saying the voices in his head told him he would be rewarded for his actions.

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An initial psychiatric assessment of Simard found he was likely suffering from schizophrenia, while a subsequent check said he was trying to make up hallucinations.

Simard was a support worker at the development centre at the time of the attack.

A sentence length was not immediately available.