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Man who killed Toronto police officer requests move at mental health facility

The widow of slain Toronto police Sgt. Ryan Russell read an emotional impact statement on Tuesday at a hearing for Richard Kachkar — the man found not criminally responsible last March for killing Russell with a stolen snowplow in 2011.

Kachkar is requesting to be moved to a less secure unit at the Whitby mental health facility where he is detained. The decision is expected to be made within the next two weeks.

“Richard Kachkar stole my two year old son’s father,” Christine Russell read Tuesday. “My son doesn’t remember his dad, he only knows him through photographs and stories we tell. He will never get his dad back. I’m the only parent he will ever know. My son is devastated and that in turn devastates me.”

“Richard Kachkar also stole my husband and best friend. He robbed me of my future and the life (we) had together. I am sadly labeled as a widow and a single parent. These are heavy titles that I am burdened to bear.”

Russell later told reporters that Kachkar refused to make eye contact with her during the hearing.

“He refuses to look at me,” she said. “In my eyes if he refuses to look at me, he’s not ready to admit remorse.”

“I still feel that he’s a very dangerous man.”

Kachkar’s father was also on hand for the hearing.

“I don’t care any more about Richard Kachkar,” said Glenn Russell. “Whatever happens here will not bring my son back.”

“He has my son’s blood on his hands…”

The Ontario Review Board, which decides if and how people found not criminally responsible should be detained, ordered at an initial hearing last year that Kachkar be held in a secure forensic unit at Ontario Shores mental health hospital in Whitby, Ont.

He has been detained there for about a year and at his first annual review Kachkar, through his lawyer, requested that the board order him moved to the general forensic unit.

The hospital is recommending that he be kept in the secure unit and that his conditions not change – a recommendation supported by the Crown.

Karen Defreitis, Medical Director of the Forensic Program at Ontario Shores, explained the difference between the units.

“On a secure unit you are looking at three or four patinets to one nurse, on a general unit you’re looking at five to six patients for one nurse.”

The review board ruled last year that Kachkar should be allowed escorted passes into the community, which was beyond the privileges Kachkar’s lawyer requested.

The Crown appealed that decision, but Ontario’s Appeal Court dismissed it, siding with the review board in ruling that granting Kachkar escorted trips into the community posed minimal risk to the public.

In the past month, Kachkar has made three trips to a Whitby plaza, infuriating Russell’s widow.

“He’s killed somebody, someone who was protecting us, and he’s just out and about? I don’t think it’s right.”

Christine Russell Victim Impact Statement