When the system fails….

A horrific murder case that culminated with a dismembered body stuffed into a fridge has ended with Kenneth Barter being found not criminally responsible for killing 32-year-old Nathan Mayrhofer. Barters family had struggled with the health system for the last six or seven years to try and get their son properly treated.

Kenneth Barter, 37, was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment after being charged with second-degree murder in the death of Nathan Mayrhofer in August 2010. Barter admitted to beating Mayrhofer to death with a hammer while in a delusional state, and cutting up his body to store in his apartment refrigerator, the Crown says.

Judge Peter Rogers ordered Barter to be placed at the Forensic Psychiatric Institute in Coquitlam, where his case will be reviewed by a group of psychiatrists.

Barter’s defense lawyer, Juan O’Quinn stated in media reports, that Barter had very little contact with the legal system before the events of August.  The Barters family has struggled with the health system for the last six or seven years to try and get their son properly treated.

Barter, who had been taking medication and seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis, stopped going to see the psychiatrist for a short period of time. In March, 2010, he tried to see the psychiatrist but because he had stopped, he was told he needed a referral from his doctor, which he got. An appointment was made in April but the earliest Barter could get in to see the psychiatrist was October.
Crown prosecutor Howard Pontious appears to have avoided making any comments on the apparent lack of any suitable treatment prior to the murder.

Memories of Nathan Mayrhofer

3 thoughts on “When the system fails….”

  1. Thank you for your sentiments and you are absolutely right unfortunately the victim is often pushed to the background where the accused is front and center. I must admit to great anger at this!!
    I am currently talking to Rennie Hoffman in Vancouver who is an advocate of forcible medication for those who need it.
    I recently received the reasons as to why Kenneth Barter is detained for another year at his last assessment which I receive at my request. In these reason it was stated that Kenneth Barter does not believe he has an illness and will be non-compliant with taking his medications on his own. Yet they are still trying to get him to a point where he will be re-integrated with the community!! Seriously, are you kidding me. Not if I can help it, his next assessment is Feb 2012 and I plan to be at it. In the meantime I am trying to write to who I can and further the cause but any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am flying blind at the moment, so to speak. And as a side not I will add that Ken Barter is at the same institute that Allen Shoenbergn, who was granted then revoked “coffee breaks” after killing his three children.

  2. Rebecca-

    I just wanted to say I am sorry for your loss.

    I am sure that when you read this short post on Nathan’s murder, how so very little is said about Nathan, while so much is said about Barter! You must feel a sense of revolt… Nathan is dead and can’t speak…who speaks for Nathan!

    Sadly enough, very few… While his memory will live on in those who knew and loved him, for most others, Nathan will just be a line in a news story that is occasionally mentioned.

    Like Tim, Nathan was so much more than a grisly headline. Like Tim’s mother and family, only you, and those that knew and loved Nathan, can speak for him… don’t ever be silent!

  3. Nathan Mayrhofer was my brother. Kenneth Barter was found not guilty by reason of mental defect and in Feb 2011 was given his first evaluation. They remanded him and he gets another evaluation in one year. For what to see if he can be let out into society again?? My brother doesn’t have that chance, the system failed him and I fear they will fail him again unless there is change and an outcry on a seriously flawed system.
    It’s hard enough to see the pain it has caused my family let alone see them suffer any more due to these serious flaws!

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