A man with a heavy past psychiatric accused of premeditated murder and has never denied having set fire to his home in order to kill his roommate has been found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder on Thursday.
Serge Gormley, 59, is a man known to be suffering from psychiatric problems since 1984.
In the course of his life, he was admitted 67 times because of a problem of paranoid schizophrenia.
In January 2019, arrested for minor offenses, Gormley had been the subject of a psychiatric expertise.
“Supported mid-February to mid-march, my client has seen his medication to be reduced by the psychiatrist. Having adopted this measure, we could free up a place at the Institute universitaire en santé mentale de Québec [IUSMQ] and return to Mr. Gormley in a framework supervised”, was keen to stress to the Court the defence lawyer, Me Julien Grégoire.
House of rooms
It is in this way that the man in his fifties, a fortnight before the tragedy occurs, was found in 1947, rue de la Bastille, a building of accommodation that houses people with mental health problems.
If his medical plan had been maintained, he would have had to receive an injection to control his schizophrenia on 4 April. The latter has been postponed for six days, he had therefore not received in the early morning of 6 April.
On this day, Serge Gormley was convinced that Francis Elliott, 69 years old, was “a biker” and that he wanted to “pass” by making him eat a biscuit that contained fentanyl”.
It has, therefore, decided to set fire to his blankets and his mattress, knowing that “the smoke could kill”.
In the context of the interview, when the investigator of the police Department of the City of Quebec asked him why he had not fired directly into the victim’s room, Gormley collapsed, in tears.
“I wanted to spend, yes, but I didn’t want it to suffer too much,” he said.
Taking into account the two psychiatric evaluations filed with the Court, the justice François Huot has pronounced the verdict of not criminally responsible, ordered the detention of Gormley in the institute.
Gormley will return to court in September next, as the prosecutor, Geneviève Lacroix, may request that the man be declared the “accused high-risk”.
However, currently, due to the pandemic, the psychiatrist in montreal who needs to make the expertise may not make it to the IUSMQ.