‘Ottawa’ Accused in Hammer Attack Trial Found not Criminally Responsible 3 Times, Court Hears
A psychiatrist told an Ottawa court Monday he was surprised a man charged in a brutal hammer attack was released from a psychiatric facility after previously being found not criminally responsible on three different occasions.
Jeffrey Webber, of Ottawa, was 31 years old when he was charged in December 2014 with aggravated assault and possession of a dangerous weapon.
‘I am surprised he was released nearly [as] fast as he was.’ – Robert Dickey, psychiatrist
The charges are related to an unprovoked attack near the corner of Bank and Somerset streets that left Nabute Ghebrehiwet blind in one eye and unable to work.
He said the accused recalled hearing voices in his head on the day of the attack and that people were “pulling his strings.”
“The delusions were extremely complicated, incoherent and impervious to me,” said Dickey.
Dickey told court that after several more meetings with Webber, however, he found no sign of a mental illness like schizophrenia.
Served time in psychiatric facilities
Webber has been found not criminally responsible for three other criminal code offences since 2006, including a weapons possession charge in Ottawa.
Crown prosecutor James Bocking asked Dickey whether — given that Webber had been found not criminally responsible for his actions on three previous occasions — it was logical that it would happen a fourth time.
“I hope not. It doesn’t automatically flow that way,” Dickey said. “I think from a psychiatric perspective, each incident has to be judged on its own merit.”
“With two serious offences, and the liability that represents, I am surprised he was released nearly [as] fast as he was” Dickey replied.
Webber’s defence is scheduled to begin its case on Tuesday.