Schoenborn mellows out

A man found not criminally responsible for killing his three children still struggles to control his anger but his outbursts have become less frequent and intense over the past six months, a psychiatrist says.

Dr. Marcel Hediger told a British Columbia Review Board Hearing on Friday that Allan Schoenborn, 49, has difficulty in the moment putting the anger-management techniques he has learned into practice but he has developed better insight into what causes him to react.

Hediger said it was possible, but unlikely that he would recommend Schoenborn for escorted outings into the community within the next year.

Schoenborn stabbed his 10-year-old daughter Kaitlynne and smothered his sons Max and Cordon, who were eight and five, in their home in Merritt in April 2008.

A judge later ruled the man was not criminally responsible for the deaths because he was experiencing psychosis at the time he killed the children in the belief he was saving them from a life of physical and sexual abuse.

Schoenborn sat slumped in a chair during parts of the hearing, wearing a blue sweater, torn jeans and slippers.

A 2015 review board decision says Schoenborn was diagnosed as having a delusional disorder, a substance abuse disorder and paranoid personality traits, but his symptoms had been in remission for many years.

Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Hart, an expert witness for the Crown, told the review board on Friday that he doubted Schoenborn would be ready for escorted outings within the next two to three years, if ever.

Schoenborn's psychiatric disorders are overlaid on a foundation of personality and coping problems, and it is uncertain whether his recent progress is sustainable without significant ongoing treatment and support, Hart told the review board.

"This is not just rehabilitation. This is habilitation," he said, adding Schoenborn will have to function at a high level for the first time. "Many people don't win that battle."

"I continue to hold out hope that ... Mr. Schoenborn will prove us all wrong. I just don't think that's likely."

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