Vancouver Chinatown triple-stabbing suspect in court for second appearance 

Click to play video: 'Report shows accused Vancouver Chinatown stabber was considered a threat'
Report shows accused Vancouver Chinatown stabber was considered a threat
We now know why the B.C. Review Board has been so reluctant to share a report on Blair Donnelly, the man accused of stabbing three people in Vancouver's Chinatown. Global News has obtained the report, which shows those in charge of his care said he shouldn't be unsupervised, but as Rumina Daya reports, despite those warnings, he was released into the community anyway – Sep 14, 2023

The man charged with three counts of aggravated assault in relation to a triple stabbing in Vancouver’s Chinatown made his second appearance in court Friday.

Blair Evan Donnelly was arrested and charged after three people were reportedly stabbed while attending the Light Up Chinatown festival on Sunday.

A court sketch of Blair Evan Donnelly from Friday’s court appearance. Global News

Donnelly, 64, appeared in court Friday for a bail hearing.

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Around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, it was announced Donnelly would remain in custody. His next court appearance will be on Sept. 27.

A court sketch of Blair Evan Donnelly from Friday’s court appearance. Global News

Vancouver Police previously said the attacks were done by a stranger who was not known by the victims.

The victims were a senior couple in their 60s and a woman in her 20s — all sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Vancouver Police said the man has had contact with police in the past but not in Vancouver.

Global News has learned that in 2008, Donnelly was detained at Colony Farm in Port Coquitlam, a well-known forensic psychiatric hospital, when he was found not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder for the November 2006 stabbing death of his 16-year-old daughter in Kitimat. He told the court that God told him to stab his daughter.

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Click to play video: 'Chinatown festival stabbing victims recount attack'
Chinatown festival stabbing victims recount attack

The B.C. Review Board declined to comment on the case on Monday.

However, the board did confirm that in April, an order was made in Donnelly’s case that stated that any community access, escorted or unescorted, was up to the discretion of the director.

Documents from the B.C. Review Board, obtained by Global News, shows that Donnelly was still considered a “significant threat to the public,” despite a day release on the weekend of Sept. 10.

An April report said the only appropriate placement for Donnelly is at the hospital, to ensure appropriate monitoring.

It states that Donnelly has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with psychotic symptoms when manic, and a substance use disorder that is in remission.

It remains unclear how Donnelly was granted an unsupervised day pass on Sunday, Sept. 10.

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Another incident happened in 2009, also while he was on an unescorted day pass from the institution, in which he took cocaine and stabbed someone.

A second incident happened in 2017 when he attacked a fellow patient with a butter knife.

Click to play video: 'Furor over Chinatown stabbing suspect’s day pass from Coquitlam facility'
Furor over Chinatown stabbing suspect’s day pass from Coquitlam facility

British Columbia Premier David Eby said he was “white-hot” angry over the day release.

Eby said the decision to release the man “boggles the mind” and he wants to get to the bottom of how it occurred.

He said the government “will ensure an independent person looks into the specifics of this case. The decision-making process. How we arrived at this awful place.”

That person is former Abbotsford police chief Bob Rich, who will be probing how Donnelly was released on a day pass.

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Donnelly was released on an unescorted day pass from the B.C. Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, popularly known as Colony Farm.

Eby said that officials were working now to draw up the terms of reference for Rich’s inquiry and ensure he has full access to people and documents, but that priority one will be determining how Donnelly was released, despite the review board’s recommendation.

“That is a very significant and profound and concerning issue, so that is number one on Mr. Rich’s to-do list: how is it possible, when the review board says, ‘This guy is dangerous, he shouldn’t be released,’ that then he gets released and attacks people, because that I think is the number one question British Columbians have,” Eby said.

“And the secondary question of are there other individuals in this circumstance who are also on day passes, which is a disturbing question to ask but a necessary question to ask.”

Eby said he had “great confidence” in Rich’s abilities, and that the former police chief has been directed to return with answers “as quickly as possible.”

Click to play video: 'Community reaction to Chinatown stabbings'
Community reaction to Chinatown stabbings

— with files from Amy Judd and Canadian Press


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