A judge has found a man who stabbed a housemate 281 times and tried to remove his heart, not criminally responsible because he was suffering from major mental illness at the time.
Shafaq Joya was charged with second-degree murder in the February 2016 stabbing death of Mohamad Milon, 19, who was in Canada on a student visa from Bangladesh.
Joya and Milon both lived in rented rooms in a basement apartment at 560 Pharmacy Avenue.
The court heard that Joya began seeing demons in 2012. He was prescribed medication for schizophrenia, which he refused to take.
In the weeks leading up the murder, the court heard that Joya had seen demons at work, home, and on the subway, and that he heard a voice directing him to kill Milon and remove his heart.
On February 27, 2016 Joya kicked down Milon’s door armed with two large knives.
Milon was later found dead inside his room. Some of his body parts were missing.
Two days later at the crime scene an officer posted inside the apartment heard footsteps upstairs. Joya appeared in his underwear with socks on his hands.
He had been hiding in the attic the entire time the police had been in the home.
A psychiatrist from St. Joseph’s Health Centre told the court he believes Joya is not criminally responsible, as he “was eliminating a demon, not a human being” at the time.
The psychiatrist told the judge more funding is necessary to help people with major mental illnesses.
Justice John McMahon agreed, expressing his “frustration … in a system that left Joya to his own devices, clearly psychotic, and asked to take his medication.”
“I’m tired of people ending up dead,” McMahon said.
Joya has been transferred back to St Joseph’s to continue treatment.