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“Mr. Klein was not in control of himself at the time of the offence. He lacked the capacity to rationally decide whether his conduct was right or wrong in terms of how others in the community would assess the morality of his actions,” Peters said.
Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes convicted Klein in March, and Peters announced as sentencing was set to begin in September that Klein wanted to pursue the argument that he was not criminally responsible.
The hearing saw Klein testify for the first time in the case, but throughout his cross-examination, he had trouble remembering what he had said to whom and when, as well as details of the days leading up to the attack.
He regularly responded to questions with “I don’t remember,” and contradicted answers he had given moments before.
He was diagnosed as delusional, among other things, while in custody awaiting trial, Klein testified.
The Crown alleges Klein’s recollection and testimony about what happened has been inconsistent and unreliable.
However, Peters said that Klein’s mental disorder affects his memory.
There is general agreement among expert witnesses that schizophrenia and memories arising from psychotic events cause deficits in working memory, Peters said.
“Inconsistencies, contradictions and imprecision in recollection of psychotic episodes is not unusual and expected.”
Peters also acknowledged Klein offered differing accounts to experts who assessed him. However, he argued that among those inconsistencies, there were also broad commonalities.