Verdict of non-responsibility for a deadly fire

Verdict de non-responsabilité pour un incendie mortel

Verdict de non-responsabilité pour un incendie mortel

The palace of justice of Quebec


June 4, 2020 13h16

Updated at 18h02


Verdict of non-responsibility for a deadly fire

Verdict de non-responsabilité pour un incendie mortel

Verdict de non-responsabilité pour un incendie mortel

Isabelle Mathieu

The Sun

Less than two weeks after being discharged from the mental health university Institute of Quebec, Serge Gormley, a man with a heavy past psychiatric lit a fire in his apartment to get rid of his roommate whom he saw as a threat. His mental state at the time of the crime makes him not criminally responsible for the murder, concludes the superior Court.

Gormley, 58-year-old has made 67 trips in the field of psychiatry for 30 years. He has psychosis, hallucinations, auditory and visual, delusions about the Hells Angels and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The man is polytoxicomane and lagging behind many judicial records.

He is still hospitalized. Dressed in a shirt, hands crossed, he attended via videoconference Thursday, the verdict of non-liability for the crime of murder in the first degree of Francis Elliot, 69 years of age.

On April 6, 2019, in the small hours of the morning, Serge Gormley is unable to sleep. For several days, he said later to the police, he is afraid of being killed by Elliot, his roommate who has mental health problems and is in a wheelchair. The two men live together in a housing unit supervised by the social services on the rue de la Bastille, in the quartier Limoilou in Quebec city. A speaker from the CLSC visit from time to time.

Gormley recounts that a few days earlier, Elliot has passed on a biscuit poisoning Fentanyl, a drug stronger than heroin.

Since Serge Gormley fear, the more he believes that his roommate, to the long beard and shaggy hair, is linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Serge Gormley grabs his lighter and lights a fire on a sheet, just to the side of his bed. He will say that he didn’t want Elliot burns alive, but dies, poisoned by the smoke. “I wanted to pass him, but I didn’t want it to suffer too “, will specify Gormley to investigators.

Serge Gormley fate, as all the occupants of the building. The fire department arrived quickly. They will discover the inert body of Francis Elliot in his room.

Gormley intercepted as the witness. He will confide to police that he lit the fire because his roommate wanted to “pass”. He recalls the first time the history of the biscuit contaminated with Fentanyl that had given him Elliot. He will be immediately arrested.

Medication reduced

Serge Gormley lived on the rue de la Bastille for less than two weeks. Previously, he had been hospitalized for a little over a month at the university Institute in mental health. A psychiatrist had questioned the diagnosis of schizophrenia and reduced the medication to Serge Gormley.

Serge Gormley would have normally had to have an injection of an antipsychotic drug on April 3, 2019, three days before the tragedy. This injection had been extended to 10 April.

By analyzing the course of events, the lawyer Gormley, Me Julien Grégoire, do not hesitate to speak of the failings of the health system. “The questioning of the diagnosis of schizophrenia and the reduction of the medication has had the net effect of freeing up a place at the psychiatric Institute and put Gormley in the community in a context supervised, sums it up for Me Gregory. We have experienced the following dramatic of this laxity psychiatric on April 6.”

After his arrest, Serge Gormley has been assessed by a psychiatrist at the request of the defense and then, by a second psychiatrist, at the request of the Crown.

The two medical specialists arrive at the conclusion that at the time of the crime, Serge Gormley showed various psychotic symptoms that alter his judgment, and that prevented them at this time to know that his actions were wrong.

The justice François Huot of the superior Court has accepted this conclusion of the two psychiatrists and pronounced the verdict of non-responsibility.

No member of the family of Francis Elliot occurred throughout the judicial proceedings.

Serge Gormley remains hospitalized at the university Institute of mental health until his case be submitted to the Commission for the review of the mental disorder. The Crown prosecutor Geneviève Lacroix will require that the man obtains the status of an accused high-risk, so that it is the superior Court which has to decide a date on a potential release.

Before the end of the hearing, Serge Gormley wanted to address the judge Huot for his or her desire to one day work as an agent-double for the police.


Verdict de non-responsabilité pour un incendie mortel

Serge Gormley

Le Soleil

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