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A Penticton man was deemed not criminally responsible due to a mental health issue after slicing another man’s throat open in 2021.
Roy Winston Shannon appeared in Penticton’s courts on June 16, for the continuation of his not criminally responsible hearing for charges of mischief, assault and attempted murder, where testimony from the psychiatrist was heard.
According to Dr. Anhouri, Shannon had been experiencing delusions that included auditory hallucinations and a belief that he was working for the RCMP, CIA and FBI at the time of the two incidents being heard by the court.
In May 2020, Shannon destroyed his room at Burdock House, including the bathroom and all the light fixtures, and ripped out the sprinkler head which caused substantial water damage to the building.
He was then seen on surveillance footage with a hatchet in his hands entering the common area, smashing something on the wall with it, before carrying on outside while making a swinging motion before he was ultimately arrested.
Following a stay at the psychiatric hospital, he was prescribed anti-psychotic medication.
In June 2021, Shannon was living in a room at the Carmi Motor Inn. On June 3, he left his room and walked up behind another man who was sitting on the communal balcony outside listening to music with headphones on.
Shannon pulled back the man’s head and slashed him from the ear to the throat. The cut stretched close to 15 centimetres and sliced through multiple muscles.
The victim was able to call for help and struggled while Shannon continue to stab him until another resident of the motel came out with a baseball bat and hit Shannon over the head.
According to additional testimony presented on June 16, the victim suffered severe and nearly fatal injuries from the attack.
If they had not received immediate medical attention, they would have certainly died, and as it was they required almost seven hours of emergency surgery to put back together the muscles of their neck.
Dr. Anhouri testified that while Shannon had initially presented as pleasant and polite, he did not demonstrate understanding of the circumstances of the offences he was charged with, expressing persecutory delusions, and immediately volunteered that “there were no charges against him, that he was a man of great wealth and that he had been working for the FBI and RCMP.”
The attack on June 3, was what Shannon had claimed was the result of a confrontation with people who had been raping and murdering others, as part of the position he claimed to have with law enforcement.
While in Okanagan Correction Centre, Shannon’s delusions continued, including claims that he had had millions stolen from him.
The judge determined following the presentation by Crown and defence counsel, and testimony from the psychiatrist, that Shannon was not criminally responsible for his actions during both incidents.
“In short, it would appear that [Shannon] knew what he was doing when he attacked [the victim], but was utterly incapable of understanding that what he was doing was wrong,” said the judge.
Shannon’s case will be presented before a review board for further direction as to what treatment or other actions should be taken. A victim impact statement is also being submitted.
“The scars, both emotional and physical with he being disfigured, that distresses him and is very understandable,” said the Judge.
“I can hope that the careful attention of the doctors and the review board that Mr. Shannon will be maintained in a way that he will never cause this kind of harm to another person.”
According to testimony from defence and from the psychiatrist, Shannon has made progress over the last few weeks with treatment for his illness.
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