Jordan Ramsay, 27, was charged with the second-degree murder of his father, Donald Ramsay, 53, and the attempted murder of his mother, Wendy Ramsay. Jordan Ramsay admitted to the November 2011 killing, but pleaded not guilty. Both his lawyer and the Crown prosecutor said during the trial this week in Vancouver that Ramsay should not be held criminally responsible due to his mental disorder. Ramsay was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 18. The North Vancouver man who beat his father to death and seriously injured his mother has been found not criminally responsible due to his schizophrenia.
In her ruling on Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Deborah Kloegman found that at the time of the offence, Ramsay suffered from a mental disorder that rendered him incapable of knowing that his actions were wrong. Justice Kloegman stated Ramsay was clearly in a delusional state at the time of the attack. She said the accused was not taking his medications or at least not in the required dosages just prior to the slaying.
His parents decided to reduce the dosages and replace the medication with power vitamins and he suffered acute anxiety from moving to North Vancouver from Nanaimo, said the judge. At the time of the offence, Ramsay’s state of mind was “irrational, illogical, delusional, disorganized, disoriented, incoherent, trancelike and confused,” she said. The severity of his condition proved that it was more likely than not that his mind was so disordered that he couldn’t tell right from wrong, she concluded.
Ramsay used a hammer or a wrench to strike his father multiple times in the head. The dad was pronounced dead at the scene. His mother was also struck in the head and suffered serious injuries. She was later discharged from hospital and has returned to Saskatchewan.
During the trial Jordan Ramsay’s psychiatrist, Dr. Leanne Meldrum, testified Ramsay is fragile, in deteriorating mental health and will need long-term care in Coquitlam’s Forensic Psychiatric Institute, where he currently is a patient, before he would ever be considered safe in the community. Ramsay will be evaluated by the B.C. Review Board, which has 45 days to decide if he should be remanded in custody to a psychiatric facility, conditionally discharged or discharged outright.
LeeAnn Ramsay, the sister of Donald Ramsay, said the judge had reached the correct verdict.
During the trial this week in Vancouver, the court heard evidence that at the time of the slaying, Ramsay was off his prescribed medication and was trying to treat himself with a brand of multivitamins which is marketed on the internet to people with mental illness. LeeAnn Ramsay says the death of her brother was preventable and could have been avoided had the accused not used the vitamins produced by Truehope. LeeAnn Ramsay says the vitamins were improperly marketed as a cure for mental illness and called on Health Canada to take action. “It makes me extremely sad and a little bit angry. I just want someone to be accountable for this. It had been a “very difficult” time for our family. My parents are devastated” she says.
Bradford Stephan, the chief operating officer for Truehope, acknowledged that Ramsay was taking their vitamins but denied that they played a role in the slaying. “We’ve had over 80,000 people in North America on this program and we’ve never had a problem before.” He blamed a visit the accused made to a North Vancouver psychiatrist a few days before the slaying, saying the psychiatrist had “ripped a strip off him” for use of the vitamins. He said that Ramsay left the psychiatrist feeling “very upset” and “very paranoid.”
Health Canada said it licences the company to use several nutritional supplements but does not allow them to claim them as a cure for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.