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Desmond inquiry: social worker reveals details about former soldier’s family life

Lionel Desmond. Global News

An inquiry in Nova Scotia is hearing testimony Thursday from a social worker who has described the family life of a former soldier who later killed three family members and himself in 2017.

Kama Hamilton says that as Lionel Desmond was starting an 11-week treatment program to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, she received permission in June 2016 to speak with his wife, Shanna.

READ MORE: Psychologist tells inquiry Lionel Desmond made limited progress during treatment

Hamilton told the inquiry that during an hour-long telephone conversation, Shanna Desmond said her husband was experiencing flashbacks about combat in Afghanistan, and she said he had recently described a gruesome nightmare.

Shanna Desmond said her husband told her that in the dream, he caught her sleeping with another man and he responded by “chopping her to pieces.”

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Click to play video: 'Psychiatrist who diagnosed Lionel Desmond testifies in inquiry' Psychiatrist who diagnosed Lionel Desmond testifies in inquiry
Psychiatrist who diagnosed Lionel Desmond testifies in inquiry – Feb 23, 2021

The social worker told the inquiry that despite the violent nature of the nightmare, she was confident Shanna Desmond was not in any danger, mainly because Lionel Desmond’s recollection was not intended as a threat.

As well, Hamilton told the inquiry that Shanna Desmond had made it clear she and the couple’s nine-year-old daughter had never been subjected to physical violence, and she didn’t believe her husband would ever hurt them.

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