Appeal filed after Alberta Review Board rescinds some privileges for Matthew de Grood

CALGARY — Lawyers for Matthew de Grood — the man found not criminally responsible for killing five people at a 2014 house party in Calgary — have filed an appeal following the recent decision to rescind some of his freedoms.

In September, the Alberta Review Board revoked some of de Grood’s privileges after determining he continues to pose a significant threat to the safety of the public.

“Certainly the treatment team, the mental health experts that treat my client on a daily basis, felt that those privileges should be left in place to assist in his treatment, for reasons still not clear to me, or reasons which I do not agree with, the Alberta Review Board chose to take them away,” said de Grood’s lawyer, Allan Fay.

One of those privileges was the ability to access a group home in Edmonton.

“That was, again, that was urged by the regional head for Alberta Hospital Edmonton,” said Fay.

“He made it clear to the Review Board that once they were satisfied with my client’s medication regime was stabilized, that this was an essential part of dealing with his treatment.

“The other was his ability to travel into the community unescorted. Again he had been in the community in the past, escorted, but certainly the treatment team felt that he did not pose a threat to be unescorted in the community.”

The document lists a number of reasons for the appeal, including:

  • The decision of the Alberta Review Board is unreasonable and not supported by the evidence;
  • The decision of the Alberta Review Board is based on a wrong decision on a question of law;
  • The decision of the Alberta Review Board is a miscarriage of justice, and;
  • Such further grounds as the Appellant may advise and this Honourable Court may permit.

De Grood had been permitted to spend up to three days and two nights in Edmonton away from the Alberta Hospital under the supervision of a responsible adult. In its decision that went into effect on Sept. 8, the board approved the recommendation despite the fact that two of the five board members wanted the privilege reduced to a maximum of two days and one night away from the approved facility.

The board says de Grood’s gradual reintegration into the community was interrupted with the curtailing of privileges in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions placed on patients at the hospital.

De Grood has been medication-compliant to address his schizophrenia since his admission but his treatment team does not know how he would react to the transition to a group home.

The Calgarian had been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of five people at a house party in northwest Calgary on April 15, 2014 but was found not criminally responsible in May 2016 due to a mental disorder.

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