Allie MacDonald reflects outside of MENZ Bar Tuesday April 17, 2012, in Halifax during a vigil for Raymond Taavel who was beaten to death in the early hours of the morning.
Credits: DAM SCOTTI / STR / QMI AGENCY
HALIFAX - A Halifax psychiatric hospital was just doing what most other Canadian facilities do when it let a mental patient afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia go on a solo jaunt for an hour, according to a review released Tuesday.
The report indicates the hospital should not be held responsible after a Halifax man was beaten to death on the street outside a bar in April. Andre Noel Denny, 32, a patient described as being "grossly psychotic", is now facing murder charges.
"The policies and procedures in Nova Scotia pertaining to community access privileges, patient supervision, and public notification are similar to, and in some areas more advanced than, those in other Canadian jurisdictions," the report penned by Dr. Johann Brink and Dr. Alexander Simpson states. They did suggest 18 different points the hospital should work on, including using cellphones and pagers to track patients.
Denny, 32, never came back from his unsupervised leave that afternoon five months ago.
Gay activist Raymond Taavel, 49, of Halifax, was beaten to death after it appeared he tried to break up a fight between two men when he left a popular downtown nightclub.
"A tragedy spurred this critical review," Brink and Simpson wrote in their report. "It is hoped that these improvements honour the memory of a man who was deeply committed to positive change in his community."
The provincial government ordered the review after it was revealed Denny had a history of violence and mental instability, yet was released from the East Coast Forensic Hospital without an escort.
Both the hospital and the province said they will implement the suggested changes and will do another review in six months.
Denny is due back in court Thursday.