HALIFAX – A Halifax man convicted of strangling an off-duty police officer and utilizing a compost bin to get rid of her physique is receiving therapy in jail for post-traumatic stress dysfunction — and it is being funded by Veterans Affairs Canada.
The association has drawn criticism from the sufferer’s aunt, Mandy Reekie Wong, who says veterans needs to be outraged that Christopher Garnier is getting funded therapy — although he isn’t a veteran.
“There are precise veterans who returned from struggle, or a number of wars, and they’re killing themselves as a result of they can not get assist for the PTSD they endure from by means of no fault of their very own,” Reekie Wong stated in a latest Fb put up, which she later confirmed in a direct message.
At a courtroom listening to earlier this month, Crown lawyer Christine Driscoll confirmed the convicted assassin is being seen by a non-public psychologist, and that Veterans Affairs is protecting the associated fee as a result of Garnier’s father is a veteran who has additionally been identified with PTSD.
Driscoll stated any offender with an sickness, whether or not bodily or psychological, must be handled whereas in custody.
Garnier was convicted in December of second-degree homicide and interfering with a lifeless physique within the September 2015 loss of life of 36-year-old Catherine Campbell.
On Aug. 13, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court docket decide determined Garnier would have the ability to apply for parole after serving 13.5 years — much less 699 days for time served.
Garnier’s lawyer has argued that his shopper’s psychological sickness was introduced on by the homicide.
In submissions filed with the courtroom, defence lawyer Joel Pink stated a psychiatrist employed by the defence, Dr. Stephen Hucker, stated in a report that Garnier suffered from acute stress dysfunction instantly following Campbell’s loss of life.
“The testimony of Dr. Hucker clearly signifies that there’s a robust hyperlink between Mr. Garnier’s sickness and his interference with human stays; subsequently, it needs to be thought of a mitigating consider his sentencing (on that cost),” Pink stated in his submissions to Justice Joshua Arnold.
Garnier repeatedly advised the jury he didn’t bear in mind utilizing a big inexperienced compost bin to get rid of the girl’s physique close to a Halifax bridge, the place it stayed undetected for almost 5 days.
Throughout Garnier’s trial, the jury was advised Garnier met Campbell for the primary time at a downtown Halifax bar on Sept. 11, 2015. Hours later she was lifeless in a north finish residence.
In his resolution concerning parole, Arnold stated Campbell was anticipating romance and affection that evening, however “for causes unknown, Mr. Garnier punched her within the face, broke her nostril, strangled her to loss of life, after which, in an effort to cover his crime, handled her stays like rubbish.”
Veterans Affairs issued a press release Tuesday saying it could not touch upon any particular case, however it confirmed the family members of veterans are eligible to use for PTSD therapy.
“When a person or lady serves in Canada’s armed forces or the RCMP, their entire household serves with them,” the division stated. “That’s the reason the federal government of Canada has made it a precedence to not solely enhance advantages and companies for our nation’s veterans, however for his or her households as nicely.”
The federal division stated counselling and different companies will be supplied to family members when it’s decided such a transfer will assist the veteran obtain their rehabilitation targets.
As nicely, the division famous that 94 per cent of first functions accomplished for PTSD therapy are permitted, and that 72 per cent of veterans receiving incapacity advantages for a mental-health situation have PTSD.