A mentally ill man who stabbed a woman outside RIH in 2006 must live in a community correctional facility when he is released on parole in May.
The Parole Board of Canada ruled that Robert David Semchuk presents a continued risk based on his history of violence. He has bragged to prison staff that he plans to use intoxicants and doesn’t believe he needs to stay on medication to treat his mental illness, according to a report released Thursday.
Semchuk was convicted in 2008 of the aggravated assault of Donna Marklund, a 61-year-old Merritt woman he stabbed without warning and for no reason outside the Royal Inland Hospital on Nov. 30, 2006. He was also found guilty of robbery and fleeing police.
A B.C. Supreme Court justice labelled Semchuk a long-term offender, sentencing him to six more years in jail. Past convictions include five different counts of assault and assaulting a peace officer. He is also subject to a 10-year supervisory order after his sentence.
Under federal guidelines, offenders receive a statutory release after serving two-thirds of a sentence. They may be kept until the end of their sentence in some cases.
The parole board said it would only release Semchuk to a community correctional facility or community residential facility — a halfway house. He must return nightly.
“Leave privileges are not authorized until such a time as you develop some community support, build trust with your case management team and demonstrate stability in the community.”
The board noted Semchuk has no family or other support in the community. He has undergone counseling in jail and is a co-operative prisoner. But he needs medication to be stable and has a long criminal history, it said.
Semchuk must also take medication as prescribed and follow a treatment plan. He cannot drink alcohol or take illicit drugs or associate with those involved in criminal activity.