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Mental disorder may be at root of B.C. Supreme Court stabbing

"She was psychotic," psychiatrist Dr. Garen Gharakhanian said. "She felt justified in what she did."
The victim in the alleged assault is Jing Lu.

A woman accused of a stabbing in a B.C. Supreme Court hearing room could be found not criminally responsible after testimony from a psychiatrist.

Qin Qin Shen is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose in connection with a May 25, 2021 incident at the Vancouver Law Courts.

Court documents say the victim in the alleged assault is Jing Lu.

The women had reportedly been online rivals for years and have been feuding personally and legally. 

“She destroyed my reputation so much that I couldn’t live a normal life,” Shen told the court earlier.

The case stems from an incident in a court hearing room. Sheriffs were called to a panic button and found two women on the ground, one of them with multiple injuries, the other in handcuffs.

Sheriffs testified to seeing a large amount of blood in the courtroom and finding a knife and a hammer.

Deputy Sheriff Kulvinder Bagri, a first-aid attendant, checked to see if the injured woman was conscious and breathing. He found lacerations and puncture wounds. He said she did not regain consciousness in the 15 to 20 minutes before emergency health services arrived.

In testifying before the court Oct. 13, psychiatrist Dr. Garen Gharakhanian said Shen could not understand the wrongfulness of her acts. 

“She was psychotic,” he told Vancouver provincial court Judge Kathryn Denhoff under questioning from defence lawyer Scott Wright. “She felt justified in what she did.”

Gharakhanian said Shen had told him she was justified as late as Oct. 12.

“It was for her own protection,” he said.

As such, finding Shen not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder could be considered by the court.

“It was paranoia that eventually evolved into persecutory delusion,” said Gharakhanian.

The judge heard that Shen has been certified five times in the past as a danger to herself or others. Her diagnosis includes late onset schizophrenia and psychotic depression.

Gharakhanian said Shen is unable to remember the events, having experienced a “red out.” The  psychiatrist said that can happen when someone is under extreme stress and emotion.

The trial was suspended for a period in early July after Shen was attacked in jail and required surgery.

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