January 15, 2016 - 11:30 AM
PENTICTON - An Oliver man with a history of mental health issues will undergo a psychiatric assessment following a lengthy police standoff in Oliver yesterday, January 13.
David Alex McLaughlin will undergo a 30-day psychiatric assessment in Port Coquitlam after appearing at the front porch of a neighbour’s residence at 12:56 a.m. while toting a Winchester .30-30 rifle.
Crown Prosecutor Mallory Treddenick told court an Oliver resident awoke after hearing noises outside around 1 p.m. Wednesday morning. Looking out the window, the man saw McLaughlin standing on his porch with the long gun in his hands. The resident asked McLaughlin what he was doing, receiving a blank stare in return.
He continued to watch McLaughlin, who slowly walked away, while the resident’s wife phoned the police.
Police arrived to find McLaughlin in a trailer on a nearby property. They were able to observe him in the trailer, and began negotiating with him to come out. While not aggressive or threatening, McLaughlin refused to cooperate until police managed to convince him to let the officers in at 11 a.m., nearly 10 hours later.
Once inside, police found a loaded Winchester rifle in a storage area in the trailer. McLaughlin was found to be under a probation order prohibiting him from possessing weapons.
Treddenick told Judge Gregory Koturbash McLaughlin suffered serious mental health issues, stemming from a brain injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident when he was in his teens.
Two people living in the residence of the property where McLaughlin’s trailer was parked told police he used crystal meth and was prone to exhibiting unstable behaviour.
She reviewed several of 18 mental health files involving McLaughlin to the court before the judge allowed McLaughlin, who was present, to speak.
McLaughlin denied any wrongdoing, telling the judge there was nothing wrong with him. He said he didn’t go to the neighbour’s house and had gone to bed at 11p.m., waking up when police knocked on his door.
Calling the allegations against McLaughlin “bizarre and terrifying,” Judge Koturbash agreed the psychiatric assessment was appropriate.
McLaughlin’s next scheduled court date is for February 10.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016