Crown doesn’t want St. Joe’s patient to attend Mohawk unsupervised

The Crown is appealing an Ontario Review Board decision that would potentially allow a man with schizophrenia who attacked soldiers at a military recruitment centre to attend Mohawk College unsupervised.

In its factum filed with the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Crown argued the review board’s July ruling is “unreasonable,” as is their decision not to impose a condition that Ayanle Hassan Ali refrain from direct contact with uniformed military personnel.

“Being allowed to sign himself out for classes, presumably for at least an hour, in addition to the potential of being triggered or motivated to take action by encountering military personnel at the college, has significant potential for carrying out an attack on military personnel or nearby military offices,” says the Crown factum. “The Board did not address that risk or give it any substantive consideration.”

Ali, 30, has been at St. Joseph’s Healthcare’s West 5th campus since April 2016 with zero privileges as his case wound its way through the courts.

Last May, he was found not criminally responsible for leaving two soldiers with minor injuries in May 2016 when he slashed Toronto Canadian Forces personnel with a kitchen knife.

As a result of the ruling, the Ontario Review Board ordered him detained and listed potential privileges, including allowing him to attend Mohawk College, which is across the street from the mental health hospital.

Initially, he would be accompanied by staff, but if things go well, he would be able to go on his own, the decision reads.

Ali’s lawyers, Nader Hasan and Maureen Addie, pointed this out in their factum.

“The conditions do not give unrestrained liberty to Mr. Ali,” the factum reads. “To the contrary, they envision an incremental process.”

Their factum points out that Ali’s treating psychiatrist, Dr. Gary Chaimowitz, testified that Ali has spent a “very lengthy” period of time on lockdown, and that he is ready for privileges.