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Hay River man not criminally responsible for mother’s murder

A Hay River man has been found not criminally responsible for the murder of his mother.

Richard Deleeuw was 25 when he stabbed his mother, 52-year-old Linda Lafferty, to death outside her home in September 2012.

Deleeuw had admitted carrying out the attack but the court heard he suffered from mental illness in the months leading up to Lafferty’s murder.

After five months of avoiding his medication, his mother had taken to hiding it in Deleeuw’s sandwiches. He had not eaten them for two days prior to her death.

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A forensic psychiatrist told the court she had interviewed Deleeuw following the incident and concluded he probably has a form of schizophrenia.

Supreme Court Justice Karen Shaner ruled that while Deleeuw had caused his mother’s death, his mental illness meant he could not be found criminally responsible.

His future now lies in the hands of the NWT Mental Disorder Review Board.

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