The young man who murdered North Delta teen Laura Szendrei should be dealt with in the adult penal system, two psychiatrists have testified.
Dr. Paul Janke, a psychiatrist with the Youth Forensic Psychiatric Service for B.C., testified Wednesday that the young man requires "indefinite" supervision that's "well beyond" what's available in the youth system.
Janke said that "on a very conservative basis," the killer, now 20, should be closely supervised well into his late 40s or early 50s.
"He would be far outside the range of youth that we treat," said Janke, an expert witness called by the Crown. "Supervision should be extended indefinitely."
Janke testified during the third day of a four-day hearing into whether the confessed murderer, whose identity remains shielded by the Youth Criminal Justice System, should be sentenced as a youth or as an adult.
The young man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he attacked 15-year-old Szendrei while she was walking along a path in Mackie Park forest, in the 8200-block of 110th Street in North Delta.
Szendrei died in hospital on Sept. 26, 2010, one day after the vicious broad daylight beating.
The young man was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder last year.
The court heard that he used zap straps to restrain Szendrei and had struck her three times over the head with a metal pipe as she struggled to escape.
Janke said the young man expressed interest in bondage, domination and sadism and was aroused by depictions of rape. Janke said he told him he believed that having sex with an unconscious girl would help him overcome his shyness.
"He said that repeatedly," Janke said. "He was adamant that that was his motivation."
If sentenced as an adult, his sentence will be life in prison without eligibility to apply for parole for seven years. If sentenced as a youth, he faces a seven-year sentence, with a maximum four of those years to be served in prison and the remainder in the community, under supervision.
Asked by Crown prosecutor Wendy Stephen if he believes a seven-year sentence would be enough to protect the community, Janke replied, "In my opinion, absolutely not."
On Tuesday, the victim's mother Rachael Szendrei clapped her hands when Dr. Kulwant Riar, an expert witness called by the defence, told the court that the young man requires treatment not available to him in the youth correctional system. The grieving mom appeared heartened by the psychiatrist's testimony.
"We're trying to be positive," she told reporters outside courthouse Tuesday.
She said she "truly" believes her daughter's killer will get a life sentence.
"Laura deserves this, please," she said.
The murderer has been described as a very shy young man who was bullied in school but otherwise had a fine upbringing. He has already spent two years and five months in a youth detention centre, where he's considered to be a "model inmate."
Both Janke and Riar interviewed him multiple times and did not find any psychopathic traits but Janke said he found it "somewhat surprising" that "he showed no emotional distress" over the murder and "no expression of grief other than for himself."
Riar noted the killer has a stable background devoid of abuse or neglect other than being "bullied and picked on a bit" at school. His deep insecurity likely extends from this, Rair said.
The court has heard that the young man confessed to an undercover police officer that he sexually attacked three other women in Burns Bog, prior to Szendrei's murder.
Janke said the young man knew what he was doing was wrong, and felt shame, but couldn't control himself.
Riar told the court he was "acting out against women" because he can't control his libido.
Riar said he's scared of girls, as a result of not being sure of himself.
"He was not angry at the girls; he was angry at himself." Riar said the young man expressed bewilderment about the murder. "He could not explain why he went that far."
The psychiatrist said the young man told him "his intention was to knock her out and have sex with her." After attacking her, the court heard, the killer puked and couldn't eat or sleep properly. A psychopath, Riar said, wouldn't have cared.
Defence lawyer Donna Turko asked Riar if this is an unusual case.
"No," he responded. "I have seen lots of cases like that," he said, that involved offenders from "very good families."
"He wanted to have sex and he could go that far to do it."
Riar said the young man told him he wasn't sexually aroused by the Burns Bog incidents, but Riar didn't believe him because he admitted to having masturbated afterward.
Riar also told the court that the killer fantasized about rape and had masturbated to "fake rape" pornography.
Under cross-examination, by Crown prosecutor Wendy Stephen, Riar said the killer told him that he woke up at 9 a.m. on the day of Szendrei's murder, with a sudden urge "to go out and get laid," and thought of choking a girl and raping her.
Riar said he wasn't aware that the young man had researched on the internet how to obtain chloroform. Stephen asked if the young man is serious about getting treatment for his problems.
"Only he knows," Riar replied.
Stephen noted that the young man had left his pipe and hat behind at the scene of the crime, came back and launched into a ruse that he was there to help, telling people "you go this way, I'll go that way."
Stephen remarked that demonstrated "remarkable coolness," and Riar agreed. Janke said his behaviour following the attack was not consistent with someone experiencing panic or anxiety and shows he is capable of thinking on his feet under highly stressful situations. As such, Janke said, he will pose a challenge to any experienced therapist.
A psychologist has yet to testify as the hearing continues Thursday.
© Copyright 2013