A Toronto woman has been found not criminally responsible for the fatal stabbing of a complete stranger after a judge ruled she did not have the mental capacity at the time to know her actions were wrong.
Justice John McMahon said Tuesday that Rohinie Bisesar, who pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Rosemarie Junor, was seriously ill during the attack in December 2015.
“I am satisfied on a balance of probabilities that Rohinie Bisesar suffered from a mental disorder, schizophrenia, when she took this woman’s life,” McMahon said. “Because of the schizophrenia, she was incapable of knowing the killing was morally and legally wrong.”
Junor, 28, died after being stabbed in the chest by Bisesar at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto’s financial district.
Both Crown and defence lawyers had said Bisesar should be found not criminally responsible in Junor’s death.
A forensic psychiatrist who was the only witness to testify at the one-day trial last week concluded Bisesar was in the throes of a psychiatric breakdown due to untreated schizophrenia at the time of the attack.
Court heard that a second psychiatrist agreed with that assessment and both reported that Bisesar suffered from severe hallucinations and delusions that manifested as a voice commanding her to harm someone.
The stabbing — which was captured entirely on surveillance video — took place on Dec. 11, 2015, when Junor, an ultrasound technician, was at the drug store during a break from work.
The trial heard that Bisesar walked into the store just before 3 p.m., went straight up to Junor and stabbed her in the chest with a knife. Bisesar then placed the knife on a counter and walked out of the store.
The entire incident took about a minute, court heard.
Junor was rushed to a hospital, where she died four days later. That same day, police arrested Bisesar.
A police investigation found no link between the two women.
Bisesar’s trial heard that she didn’t initially believe Junor was dead, saying she was in hiding.
McMahon said Bisesar will now be sent to a secure wing of a mental health hospital in Toronto until she has a hearing with the Ontario Review Board, which decides if and how not criminally responsible patients should be detained.