Review Board denies request for Matthew Raymond to be allowed time outside hospital

·3 min read
Matthew Raymond, 50, has been held at a secured hospital facility since he was found not criminally responsible by a jury. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Matthew Raymond, 50, has been held at a secured hospital facility since he was found not criminally responsible by a jury. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The New Brunswick review board has denied a treatment team's request to give Matthew Raymond more privileges while in custody.

Raymond, 50, was found not criminally responsible by a jury in November after admitting to shooting and killing Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright from his storage room window at 237 Brookside Dr., then Fredericton Const. Sara Burns and Const. Robb Costello when they responded to calls of shots fired on Aug. 10, 2018.

Raymond has been held at the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton, where he will remain until the review board - a tribunal made up of law and mental health professionals - finds he's no longer a threat to the public.

On Wednesday, Raymond made the first of a series of regular appearances in front of the tribunal since he was found not criminally responsible. His psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Holly presented a report, in which he said Raymond is still a threat to society, but is complying with his treatment plan.

Victims of the shooting in Fredericton, from left to right: police constables Robb Costello, 45, and Sara Burns, 43, and civilians Donnie Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie Lee Wright, 32.
Victims of the shooting in Fredericton, from left to right: police constables Robb Costello, 45, and Sara Burns, 43, and civilians Donnie Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie Lee Wright, 32.()

Holly recommended Raymond receive more privileges in order to get more data on his treatment and progress.

Among them, Holly asked that Raymond be able to spend some time in Campbellton, outside the hospital, either accompanied by staff or family. He also requested he be able to participate in recreational and cultural activities in Campbellton and surrounding areas.

Board chair Lynn Raymond said the board denied this request because the treatment team has not provided a structured plan to address any possible risks associate with Raymond spending time outside the hospital.

In December, Justice Larry Landry designated Raymond as a high-risk offender. This means he's subject to stricter conditions, written by the judge, before he's released or allowed out-of-hospital privileges.

"Usually the review board [alone] will grant the possible privileges," Lynn Raymond said. "However, because of the high-risk-accused designation, the review board is not able to act in that usual way."

Raymond is currently allowed to move from one unit to another within the Restigouche Hospital Centre and move within Vitalite Zone 5 property, all while accompanied by staff.

No victim-impact statements read aloud

Raymond's mother Shirley Raymond was present by video conference, but none of the victim's family members were there.

Approximately eight victim impact statements were given to the review board from the family members of the victims.

None of the victim impact statement writers wanted to read the statements in person, Lynn Raymond said.

The report written by Dr. Holly says the treatment team is still looking for the trigger of Raymond's psychosis. Holly told the review board he still stands by his initial diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Issues with another patient

Jacques Lamontagne, a staff member at the hospital centre, presented a report about Raymond's adjustment to the hospital environment. Lamontagne said no outside-unit privileges have been given to Raymond, but he's been spending his time walking around his unit and interacting with other patients.

Lamontagne said he's cooperative and respectful with staff but has shown "manipulative, cold, annoyed and impatient" behaviour with other patients.

Raymond spoke up at the hearing and said he had a problem with another patient and that's been addressed.

"It's a matter that's now been resolved," Lynn Raymond said when giving her decision.

In regular NCR cases, the review board must hold a hearing every 12 months. However, for high-risk offenders, that can be extended to 36 months.

Claude Hache, Crown prosecutor, recommended that the next hearing be held 36 months from Wednesday.

Lynn Raymond said Holly's report and what she heard on Wednesday shows that Raymond's condition is "likely to improve," so the board will not extent the period between hearings.