Vince Li, the man who beheaded Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in 2008, has been granted the right to leave his mental hospital without an escort for trips into Selkirk.
Until now, security guards or staff were required to be with him.
The Criminal Code Review Board made the ruling. Chair John Stefaniuk says the decision is based on risk to himself and others.
“Our Board does look at it, and based on the evidence and based on the weight of the evidence we make our decision to oppose conditions that to the best of our ability ensure that there is no significant risk to the public.”
Lee will still need supervision for trips into Winnipeg, Lockport or to visit nearby beaches.
Li was found not criminally responsible for stabbing, beheading and cannabalizing Tim McLean, a young carnival worker, on a bus in July 2008.
The victim’s mother, Carol DeDelley, calls the Criminal Review Board decision is disappointing, embarrassing and completely shameful.
“I think Canada has an opportunity to be a leader on the world stage for how to deal with mentally ill offenders, and this is not the way.”
Schizophrenia Society of Canada CEO Chris Summerville tells 680 CJOB Li is certainly not the first person to go through this type of situation.
“What makes this case unusual is the nature of the crime he committed,” says Summerville. “He is indeed a model patient and he’ll be a model patient in the community and I believe the Review Board does the appropriate risk assessment to make sure that public safety is paramount.”
DeDelley believes Li should remain locked up for life saying anyone who takes a life should lose thier freedom
Canada’s Public Safety minister Steven Blaney expressed his displeasure with the ruling in a statement.
“The provincial decision to grant Mr. Li unescorted trips around town is an insult to Tim McLean, the man he beheaded and cannibalized. Canadians expect that their justice system will keep them safe from high-risk individuals,” the email reads.
He says that is why the Conservatives introduced the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, which prioritizes public safety and the safety of victims.