Bus beheading victim's mother speaks out against killer's move to group home
Michael Shulman, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, May 9, 2015 10:42PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 9, 2015 11:31PM EDT
The mother of Tim McLean, who was beheaded on a Greyhound bus in 2008, made an emotional plea at a rally on Saturday against increased freedoms for the man who killed her son.
"I've got 10 grandchildren now and it terrifies me the world we're leaving to them," Carol de Delley told CTV News.
More than 40 people gathered outside the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg, to protest Vince Li's potential move to a group home. The decision is pending the hospital’s recommendation.
On Friday, de Delley posted a letter to Facebook from the review board informing her that Li could be granted overnight passes to group homes in the community. The letter goes on to say that the purpose of the outings is to create a "gradual transition to reside there."
Li, who suffers from schizophrenia and has been living at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, was found not criminally responsible for mutilating and beheading 22-year-old McLean on a Greyhound bus bound for Winnipeg.
In February, the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board granted Li unsupervised daytrips to the city, after his doctor said that he had shown "profound improvement" and was a low risk to reoffend.
At the rally on Saturday, McLean's brother Kendall said that he couldn't make sense of the decision.
"Essentially what the government is giving my mom for Mother's Day…(is) giving Vince Li a little more freedom this year," de Delley said.
Despite the family's concerns, mental health experts insist that risks are minimal.
"If he were to stop taking his medication he's not going to become psychotic within an hour or overnight, because the medication stays in your bloodstream for…several weeks," said Chris Summerville, the executive director of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.
Should he be granted permission to move to a group home, Li will have a curfew, as well as around-the-clock staff to make sure he takes his medication.
Mental health advocate Mark Henick is also in favour of the move.
"Given that people found not criminally responsible often are subjected to considerably more assessment and scrutiny than others in the criminal justice system, I think this seems to be a natural next step in his treatment," said Henick.
The transfer to a group home will also give Li more opportunities to get out in the community, where reaction is mixed.