Detain delusional stalker, court rules

A former lawyer's assertions he is not crazy failed to dissuade a judge that an examination, at the least, is needed to answer that question.

Robert Michael Stainton was in provincial court Monday asking to be released from custody. The Crown, on the other hand, wanted him held in a secure psychiatric hospital pending an examination in a secure psychiatric hospital.

Stainton is charged with criminal harassment and making harassing phone calls. The Crown alleges he has developed a "love-hate fixation" on a Kamloops drug and alcohol counsellor.

His recent behaviour, including increased drug use and the delivery of a 28-page rambling letter, had authorities worried he was on the verge of new crimes. A Kamloops judge ordered a warrant for his arrest Feb. 1. He was picked up in Kelowna Thursday.

Stainton, who spoke for himself at Monday's bail hearing, told the court he may be confused about things but he is not mentally unfit to stand trial.

He told the judge, however, he has good reason to be confused, as he has been the target of U.S. intelligence agencies that have tried to emotionally and psychologically destroy him.

"I can explain Sept. 11 in a nutshell. I know," he said, telling the court he was contacted by a CIA operative just five minutes after the first airliner crashed into New Your City's World Trade Centre.

"I know why it happened. It was genius, sir."

He also told the judge the CIA is behind many other plots to cause people misery.

"The CIA attacks the theories all human beings need to have their basic needs met," Stainton said, his voice rising in volume as if he urgently needed to make the point.

"We all need to be loved. We need clean drinking water, we need shelter, we need food.

"You call these conspiracy theories? No, they are not sir. No they are not. Plain and simply, they wanted me dead. Maybe I'm not crazy, maybe that's the genius."

He said the woman he is accused of harassing, in fact, his stalking him.

Stainton says he met the woman at the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre when he needed counselling. But she contacted him after that, he claimed, and showed interest in his life. He told the judge he has never threatened the woman.

The Crown told the court he's left at least 16 unwanted messages on her voice mail in the last three years.

"I'm suggesting (this is) a fatal attraction on her behalf," Stainton said.

"There is no evidence . . . of anything that is inappropriate in my behaviour. She may be disturbed (by me). I am disturbed by her too.

"I am frightened of her."

Stainton promised the judge he would stay in Kelowna if released on bail and abide by all the terms of his release. He said he understands the charges against him, as well as the nature of the legal process as it will unfold.

"This is not about (my mental) fitness, it should be about bail," he said. "I do not believe I am a danger. There is no evidence I will not show up for trial."

Judge Dev Dley ruled the issue of Stainton's mental fitness to stand trial will be decided later, after an assessment is complete.

He said the man's references to conspiracies and the CIA are enough to warrant concern for his mental health and his ability to stand trial.

Stainton will be examined at the Forensic Psychiatric Centre. The report must be prepared within 30 days.

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