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‘Visit leave’ denied for Vernon man found not criminally responsible in mom’s death

Click to play video: 'BC Review Board denies ‘visit leave’ for Vernon man found not criminally responsible' BC Review Board denies ‘visit leave’ for Vernon man found not criminally responsible
A North Okanagan man found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder in connection with his mother’s death, was seeking more freedoms at the BC Review Board. However, the board is not ready to grant him longer term “visit leave” from a hospital where he is being treated – Nov 3, 2021

A Vernon, B.C., man found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder, in connection with the 2017 trampling death of his mother, won’t be allowed longer “visit leaves” from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam where he is being treated.

However, 25-year-old Angelo Monfort can continue to have unescorted day visits to the community, at the hospital leadership’s discretion.

That was the decision of the BC Review Board which ruled “a cautious and gradual approach” to Monfort’s reintegration into society is, “necessary to protect the public.”

Read more: Young man charged with murder in Vernon

In the recent decision, the board chair wrote Monfort had admitted to loan-sharking at the hospital and “expressed no remorse for killing his mother or for taking financial advantage of other patients at the hospital.”

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The chair wrote that “on a more positive note,” Monfort had “not been violent since his admission” to the hospital and, “due to improved behaviours, has just recently progressed to unescorted” visits to a nearby park.

In June 2017, Regina Fernandez was found seriously injured in a Vernon townhouse complex and later died in hospital.

According to the review board, Monfort, then 21, was “paranoid and experiencing delusional thinking” when he “attacked his mother in her home.

The review board document said Monfort, “kicked his mother in the chest, causing her to fall to the floor. He then jumped repeatedly on her chest and neck as she lay helpless on the floor.”

Two doctors told the review board Monfort has schizophrenia that is currently in remission.

Read more: Vernon murder suspect found not criminally responsible

Monfort’s lawyer asked the review board to consider longer “visit leaves” for her client, but the board declined saying it needed to see a longer track record of him “successfully” completing unescorted community visits first.

A handbook for patients says “visit leaves” involve patients leaving the hospital “on a trial basis for up to 60 days,” but “the duration varies with each patient.”

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