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Regina man who tried to get psychiatric help before killing mother found not criminally responsible

A Regina court has found a 36-year-old Regina man not criminally responsible for killing his mother because of a severe psychotic episode.  (Nicholas Frew/CBC - image credit)
A Regina court has found a 36-year-old Regina man not criminally responsible for killing his mother because of a severe psychotic episode. (Nicholas Frew/CBC - image credit)

WARNING: This article contains distressing details.

A Regina man who tried to seek help for his deteriorating mental health in the weeks before he stabbed and killed his mother in their home has been found not criminally responsible for the death.

While a King's Court judge found Raefe Mahadeo, 36, killed his mother Deborah Mahadeo sometime between Jan. 1 and Jan. 3, 2022, he was found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder and an inability to discern his actions were wrong.

Justice C. L. Dawson wrote in her decision that Raefe acknowledged he stabbed his mother and killed her. An autopsy concluded she died from multiple injuries including a stab wound and abrasions at the front of the neck that could have led to her suffocating.

Raefe was originally charged with second-degree murder, but both the Crown and defence jointly submitted that he was not responsible for Deborah's death.

A forensic psychiatrist who interviewed Raefe testified in court that his primary diagnosis of Raefe was schizophrenia and that he believed it was the primary factor in the stabbing.

According to an agreed statement of facts between the Crown and defence, Regina police found Raefe crouched over his mother's head when they arrived at a home on Toronto Street.

Raefe said in a statement to police that the two were struggling financially and not getting along. He believed that someone had been "eavesdropping" on his cellphone and that his mother was a robot with "tech" in her mouth.

He recalls that he grabbed his mother and pushed her down, looking for the tech in her mouth that he thought was there. - Justice Dawson, in her written decision

He said he believed he could free her spirit if he stabbed her and thought that she had been killed by a cult.

Justice C.L. Dawson wrote in the decision that Raefe had sought mental health and psychiatric at the Regina General Hospital four times — on Dec. 14 and Dec. 26, 2021, and twice on Jan. 2, 2022 — but did not receive the help on any of those occasions.

In an interview with the psychiatrist, Raefe said he did not know what was real from what was not in December 2021 and January 2022.

Dawson wrote that he believed he was being controlled by technology, leading him to smash his phone battery and cut and burn his arm with a knife, alcohol and lighter fluid because he believed the COVID-19 vaccination had embedded technology in him.

"He thought is mother was potentially being controlled," Justice Dawson wrote.

"He recalls that he grabbed his mother and pushed her down, looking for the tech in her mouth that he thought was there."

File - An empty witness box in a courtroom at Court of King's Bench in Regina, Sask.
File - An empty witness box in a courtroom at Court of King's Bench in Regina, Sask.

In her written decision, Justice C. L. Dawson concluded that Raefe Mahadeo was suffering from a severe psychotic episode at the time of the crime. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Raefe believed that he could save his mom by stabbing her, and did not call for emergency help for one or two days after the attack because he believed she would come back to life.

"I am also satisfied from the evidence that, on a balance of probabilities, at the time of the offence Raefe Mahadeo was suffering from Schizophrenia, and in a psychotic episode," Dawson wrote in her decision.

Now, Raefe's case will go to the Saskatchewan Review Board for a disposition hearing, which has to be held within 45 to 90 days.

The hearing will determine what happens to Raefe. It could include being released back into the community, released with conditions or sent to a psychiatric hospital, according to defence lawyer Andrew Hitchcock.

Raefe is entitled to have his conditions reviewed by the board each year.

In the meantime, the court ordered Raefe to be remanded to a psychiatric hospital.