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Kachkar ordered to stay at Whitby psychiatric hospital

Christine Russell gives her victim impact statement on Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Ontario Review Board hearing of Richard Kachkar who killed her husband Ryan with a stolen snowplow more than two years ago. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

Cop killer Richard Kachkar has been ordered to stay at a psychiatric hospital in Whitby, but he’ll be permitted to go into the community if supervised by staff, the Ontario Review Board (ORB) says.

The review board ordered Monday that Kachkar be sent to Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences after hearing his case on Friday.

Both lawyers for Kachkar and the Crown had recommended at the hearing that he be sent to the mental hospital for treatment after a jury last month found him not criminally responsible for killing Toronto police Sgt. Ryan Russell, 35, on account of a mental disorder. Kachkar stole an idling snowplow, went on a rampage and struck the officer, killing him instantly on Jan. 12, 2011.

Now that he’s being sent to the hospital, the ORB, which manages people found not criminally responsible, will review his case every year and only release him if it concludes he’s no threat to the public.

The ORB order allows Kachkar to leave the facility and “enter the community of Whitby” if escorted or accompanied by hospital staff for “necessary medical, dental, legal or compassionate purposes.” The hospital would have to notify local police whenever he’s off hospital grounds.

He’s not permitted to possess a firearm and must abstain from alcohol and drugs unless prescribed, the order said.

Russell’s widow and the Toronto Police Association were shocked by the decision.

In a statement, Christine Russell said she wanted Kachkar be sent to Oak Ridge, the maximum secure facility at Penetanguishene.

She also said it was “completely unacceptable” and a “slap in the face” to her dead husband and her family that he be allowed into the community at the hospital’s discretion.

“We are urging the government to appeal this regrettable decision,” she said in the statement.

She had said after Kachkar’s seven-week trial on March 27 that she’d lobby hard for the federal government’s Bill C-54, which seeks to tighten restrictions on people found not criminally responsible.

Under the new legislation, it would be more difficult for offenders to obtain day passes from mental health facilities, and would allow more influence from victims — or the families of victims — during review hearings.

Review boards could also wait longer — three years, up from one — to reconsider discharge applications.

Kachkar decision by Ontario Review Baord by CityNewsToronto

With files from The Canadian Press