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article imageKiller of Toronto cop can continue receiving escorted day passes

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 2, 2014 in Crime
Toronto - The Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed a Crown appeal of the decision of the Ontario Review Board that allowed Richard Kachkar to receive supervised day passes. Kachkar was found not criminally responsible in the killing of Toronto Sgt. Ryan Russell.
The appellate court handed down its decision in the case of Kachkar (Re) yesterday. The court upheld the decision of the Ontario Review Board (ORB) to allow Kachkar to leave the institution he is being held in to go into the community on supervised day passes. The decision of the ORB, made on April 29, 2013, was appealed by the Crown.
In early January 2011, Kachkar showed up at a friend's house in Toronto after leaving the St. Catharines, Ontario shelter where he had been living. On Jan. 11, 2011, a dishevelled Kachkar went to a medical clinic where he was told to go to a hospital. Instead of seeking further medical treatment, he went to a Toronto shelter where he spent the night.
Early the next morning, he ran through the snow barefoot until he reached a Tim Hortons restaurant. A vehicle with a snow plow attached was left running and unattended outside Tim Hortons and Kachkar ran out of the restaurant and took off in the plow.
About 45 minutes after he stole the vehicle, he was spotted by Toronto Police Sgt. Ryan Russell. When Russell signalled the driver to stop, Kachkar turned it around and aimed it at the police car. Ryan got out of his vehicle and instructed the driver to stop. The plow kept going and Ryan slipped while in front of it. Kachkar kept driving, hitting the officer and then dragging him. Ryan died a short time later.
Police caught Kachkar a short time later, still driving the plow. He was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ryan.
On March 27, 2013, at the conclusion of the trial, the jury did not convict Kachkar but found him not criminally responsible for Ryan's death. He was confined to the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ontario. The following month, the ORB granted Kachkar the right to leave the hospital grounds while under supervision.
At the ORB hearing, the Crown and Kachkar's lawyer made a joint submission that Katchkar be detained at Ontario Shores, a medium security institution, and that he be allowed passes to be on the hospital grounds. There was no mention at the hearing of Kachkar being granted passes to be out in the community. At the time, Russell's widow, Christine, called it "a slap in the face." Everyone was shocked by the decision and the Crown launched an appeal.
The Crown argued the ORB's decision was unreasonable and Kachkar is too dangerous to allow into the community. The Crown also complained the ORB should have told them they were considering passes into the community as that did not come up at the hearing.
The Ontario Court of Appeal rejected the Crown's arguments that the ORB's decision was unreasonable and Kachkar posed too much of a danger to leave the hospital grounds, The court relied on the evidence of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Philip Klassen who testified Kachkar would show signs before his condition blew up into a full-blown psychosis and barring these signs, he would not pose a danger to the public that could not be handled. As to not telling counsel they were thinking about passes in the community, the court said it can be dealt with at the next review.
The court re-iterated that Kachkar had not been convicted of a crime—he was ill at the time he killed Russell.
Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, said he was disappointed in the ruling. He said, "We don't have any conclusive evidence or signs that's going to say everything's been done to ensure he doesn't re-offend , or create another victim."
Kachkar's next review before the ORB will be held on April 24.
More about Richard kachkar, toronto police Sgt Ryan Russell, not criminally responsible, ontario review board, Ontario Court of Appeal
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