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Vancouver man thought he was stabbing the devil: court

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

A provincial court judge says there’s little hope a man found not criminally responsible for plunging a knife into a stranger’s chest can be reintegrated into society.

In a B.C. Provincial Court decision last week, Justice Gregory Rideout said Mohamed Amer believed his 71-year-old victim to be the devil when he stabbed the man outside a Vancouver coffee shop in 2012.

According to the court, Amer missed Terrence Skaley’s heart sac by one millimetre and appeared confused at why the victim wasn’t dead after his arrest.

“Why did I not do it right? I stabbed him in the heart,” he told police.

“Yesterday they took me to the hospital cause I said I was going to do this. I’m not really sorry. I wanted to kill him.”

The court found Amer had been released twice from St. Paul’s Hospital in the days leading up to the attempted murder. Both times he was admitted because police were worried he had “both suicidal and homicidal ideations.”

According to psychiatric evidence, Amer thought he would get into heaven if he succeeded.

Among other behaviours, Amer fired his lawyer when he was brought into court, and insisted he should represent himself, telling the judge his name is Michael Jackson.

He also thought, when the court played CCTV footage of the incident, that there would be aliens in the video.

“Amer’s obsession with aliens, vampires, the devil and his own desire to go to heaven, support a finding that at the time Amer stabbed Skaley that he had effectively lost touch with objective reality,” Rideout wrote in his decision.

“Amer committed the act of attempted murder by stabbing Skaley, but is not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder.”

Amer is still in custody pending a review of his case.





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