Canada

Court will be asked to find B.C. man not criminally responsible for mom’s murder: Crown

A prosecutor said Monday that a judge will be invited to find a man accused of murdering his mother to be found not criminally responsible.

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A prosecutor says he and a lawyer for a Gibsons’ man accused of murdering his mother are expected to ask the court to find that the accused is not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

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At the outset of the case on Monday, Kevin Christopher Webster pleaded not guilty to the December 2020 second-degree murder of his mom, Moirin Webster, in her home in the Sunshine Coast community.

Crown counsel Trevor Cockfield said he would be calling a number of police witnesses, including the officers who responded to the scene of the slaying. A psychiatrist’s report will also be provided.

After the witnesses have testified, the Crown and the defence are in agreement that the court should have Webster declared not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder, he said.

Cockfield said that following a preliminary hearing in the case, a psychiatric assessment was ordered for Webster at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

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Paul McMurray, a lawyer for the accused, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gomery that his client had a long-standing psychiatric problem for which he was in-and-out of hospital a number of times.

He said at the time of the slaying that his client was operating under a delusional belief that his mom was part of a family conspiracy against him and that she posed a threat to him.

Several police officers testified that they were called to the home on Sargent Road in Gibsons after Webster had placed several 911 calls.

RCMP Const. Shelby Wood said that the initial call to police indicated that Webster did not know who had killed his mom but that he later admitted to killing her with an axe.

After Webster was detained at the scene, she entered the home with another officer. The mom was located on her bed in her bedroom, she said.

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Wood said there was a significant amount of blood and splatter on the walls and also a large puddle of blood on the pillow.

“There was an axe on the pillow,” she told the judge.

Const. Lee Best, another officer who attended the scene, described the mother’s head injuries as being “catastrophic.” He said there was no need to check her for vitals signs.

Court heard that at the time of his arrest Webster was calm and co-operative with police. Initially he said he didn’t want a lawyer but later said he wanted to speak to a lawyer.

The Crown played the 911 calls that Webster made. On the calls, he can be heard speaking calmly to the dispatchers. During the first call, he was asked if he knew who had killed his mom.

“Somebody was here,” he replied. “I don’t know.”

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In a subsequent call, he admitted that he’d used an axe to attack his mother.

“What caused you to do this?” an RCMP dispatcher asked him.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

The hearing is expected to continue Tuesday with evidence from another police officer about statements made by Webster. The case is scheduled to run until Wednesday after which the judge is expected to reserve his decision on the issue of whether Webster is not criminally responsible.

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