Katherine Brulotte (View profile) Katherine Brulotte
Psychiatrist Julian Gojer, who conducted a psychiatric evaluation of Nathaniel Veltman, says the man accused of premeditated murder under terrorist circumstances suffers from more than one illness.
The doctor who has been practicing for more than 3 decades explained that his services were retained by the defense lawyer but specified that his obligations are to the court in general and not to the lawyer for the defense or even towards the accused.
During his first 2 days on the witness stand, the doctor described to jurors his training and experience as a psychiatrist, specifically as it relates to his specializations in the field of forensic medicine.
He claimed to have had the opportunity to examine the accused after several meetings. He also reviewed reports made by his colleagues. The psychiatrist himself observed him at the Middlesex and South West detention centers where the accused was detained as well as at the Royal, the mental health care center in Ottawa where he was housed for this psychiatric evaluation. Psychologists and a social worker also had consultations with the accused and his father, Mark Veltman, to allow the psychiatrist to form an overall opinion on his condition.
Questioned by defense attorney Christopher Hicks, the psychiatrist concluded that the defendant suffers from more than one mental illness.
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Psychiatrist Julian Gojer testifies at the trial of Nathaniel Veltman.
Accused in attack on London Muslim family stands trial
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The accused of the attack on a Muslim family in London goes on trial
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The doctor, however, rejected the defense's suggestion that it could be severe mental illness, emphasizing instead that he did not appear to suffer from psychotic disorders but that his condition could instead be considered serious. He stated, however, that the symptoms described by the accused in the past suggest that he went through short psychotic episodes […] where he was no longer in contact with reality.
The doctor explained the difference between a sign and a symptom in his field: A sign is something we observe, a symptom is information the patient gives us.
For example: If a person holds their head, it is a sign that they are suffering from a migraine, if the patient states that they have head pain, it is a symptom of a migraine .
The man, now 22 years old, would have suffered from encephalopathy at birth, a condition which, however, would no longer have any impact today. The condition could, however, explain the fact that the accused wet his bed until an advanced age. The doctor says a magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed no abnormalities in his brain and tests determined he has above-average intelligence.
The psychiatrist ultimately stated that his opinion on the defendant's mental conditions remained fluid until he was able to observe the defendant's testimony in court.
Dr. Gojer will continue his testimony on Thursday.
Katherine Brulotte (View profile)