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After months of delays P.E.I. man found fit to stand trial

Prince Edward Island provincial court
Prince Edward Island provincial court - SaltWire Network

A P.E.I. man who the court heard assaulted an 82-year-old man and went into a stranger’s home to take a shower has been found fit to stand trial.

John Tyson Boudreault appeared before Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown Monday after months of delays in getting a court-ordered mental health assessment completed.

During the proceedings, defence lawyer Thane MacEachern told the court a report on a mental-health assessment for Boudreault, which he described as comprehensive and thorough, is finished.

MacEachern said that report found Boudreault is fit to stand trial, and he didn’t meet the criteria for being found not criminally responsible.

Boudreault’s case has been before the court for months because of delays in getting a mental health assessment completed. 

Douglas first ordered the assessment in August, and Boudreault has been in custody since his arrest on several matters that include assaulting a police officer.

The court previously heard Boudreault had exhibited what was described as bizarre behaviour, including randomly attacking a man in his 80s causing injuries that led to the victim’s hospitalization.

In another incident, the court heard Boudreault went into a home where he took a shower while one of the residents was in bed and her husband was out getting coffee.

An assessment was previously completed, but the Crown and defence raised concerns about the quality of a related report prepared at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Nova Scotia after a psychiatrist at that facility met with Boudreault for half an hour.

Boudreault consented in November to another mental health assessment, which was supposed to have been completed within 30 days.

P.E.I. has a memorandum of understanding with the hospital to perform court-ordered mental health assessments, but the facility has refused to do them for the province in some cases because of capacity issues.

The province hired two forensic psychiatrists to perform assessments as needed, but one of the doctors has since resigned.

Delays in getting court-ordered assessments completed have become the norm in P.E.I.

Problems getting the court-ordered assessments led a Crown attorney to say at one point that the orders were being given “lip service".

In another provincial court case, Chief Judge Nancy Orr warned the government it could find itself in contempt of court if an assessment wasn’t carried out.

On Monday, the court heard Boudreault has several matters before the courts at various stages of proceedings and in front of two judges.

Boudreault will be back before Douglas on Feb. 21 to address all the matters before the different courts.


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