A 28-year-old Osoyoos man who was charged with setting fire to the Osoyoos RCMP detachment in July has been found not criminally responsible because of mental illness.
Joseph McArthur-Pereira appeared in B.C. Provincial Court in Penticton on Thursday where the judge determined he was not criminally responsible for charges of arson endangering life and mischief causing danger to life after two psychological assessments were completed.
Defence lawyer James Pennington said McArthur-Pereira believed he had to burn the detachment down in order to set people free who had been killed at the hands of the RCMP and that he didn’t see anything wrong with his actions.
At the time of the incident, two on-duty officers smelled smoke at approximately 9:30 p.m. When they went outside to investigate they found the main entrance and front wall of the building was on fire. RCMP said the person who started the fire had used a jerry can of gasoline to start the blaze.
Judge Gregory Koturbash said he was convinced McArthur-Pereira suffered from a mental disorder that rendered him incapable of knowing what he did was wrong. He denied the defence’s application for bail because he said he wasn’t confident McArthur-Pereira did not pose a threat to the public once he was released.
McArthur-Pereira will remain in custody until the British Columbia Review Board determines when he should be released and the conditions.
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