CTV News at Six
The suspect accused in the fatal stabbing of a young woman in the city’s underground PATH system has been found fit to stand trial.
It was back in 2015 that 28-year-old Rosemarie Junor was fatally stabbed at a Shoppers Drug Mart in the PATH system.
The suspect in the case was taken into custody several days later and has been undergoing mental health treatment.
Rohinie Bisesar appeared in court on Monday morning for a fitness hearing, where a jury finally determined she is able to stand trial.
Bisesar was deemed by a jury to be unfit to stand trial back in December 2017.
After undergoing mental health treatment, The Ontario Review Board – a special panel of medical and legal experts – said in July that she is now fit to stand trial.
Defence lawyer Robert Karrass, who is representing Bisesar, told reporters outside of the courtroom that his client was “very, very unwell” at the time of the incident and has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“She believed that an entity was controlling her actions and moving her and communicating with her in real time,” he said. “At this point, she has received treatment, she is accepting treatment and that is continuing. She is in full remission at this point and understands that she is experiencing the manifestations of a mental condition.”
Bisesar will be tried by a judge alone beginning on Friday.
“How the trial proceeds will be based on a number of factors but I anticipate that we will be receiving from the prosecution something called an agreed statement of facts, which I will review with my client and if we are able to agree to the veracity of the statements in that agree statement of facts then we will be able to proceed on that basis as opposed to having to call witnesses to prove every element of the case,” Karrass said.
Karrass said he is arguing that his client will not be held criminally responsible for the deadly stabbing.
“While my client has had some involvement in this situation as a result of a mental disorder, she would not be proceeding to prison or be legally culpable.”
The brother of Rosemarie Junor said the outcome of Monday’s court hearing was “positive and relieving” for their family.
“I mean we didn’t expect this outcome but it worked out very fine for us – the family,” Richard Junor said. “Basically because prior to this she was not criminally insane and she had this thing about her and as the doctor said now she is kind of fit and everything else so it is a positive thing for all of us.”
While speaking with reporters on Monday, Richard Junor said he “doesn’t believe in this mental illness thing.”
“I don’t believe that (mental illness) because all of us here are legally sane,” he said.
“You cannot be angry – you can be angry but you know you have to be positive too. At the end of the day it’s not going to bring my sister back.”
Junor would not comment further on his stance on mental illness.
Bisesar will continue treatment at the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction throughout the trial.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story said the suspect was arrested at the scene. She was in fact taken into custody several days after the incident.
Rohinie Bisesar appeared in court on Oct. 29, 2018. (John Mantha)
Toronto police identified Rohinie Bisesar, 40, of Toronto as the suspect wanted in connection with a stabbing.
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