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Published online at CTVEdmonton.ca on May 17, 2012.


Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton: Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vince Li granted supervised leaves from Manitoba institution

A man who beheaded another man on a Greyhound bus four years ago will be allowed supervised visits away from the Manitoba mental health centre he’s currently housed in, a provincial review board said Thursday.

At an annual review Monday, doctors submitted a recommendation for Vince Li to be granted the supervised, 30-minute trips into town.

The Crown said it was not opposed to the recommendation.

Li, 44, has been under treatment at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre ever since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and found not criminally responsible for stabbing, beheading and cannibalizing Tim McLean, 22, in July, 2008.

The two men had never met and just happened to be sitting next to each other briefly on a bus ride to Winnipeg from Edmonton.

McLean was listening to music on his headphones, with his eyes closed. Suddenly, Li stood up and started stabbing McLean repeatedly as horrified passengers looked on. He carved up the body and scattered it around the bus.

As people scrambled to get off the bus and police surrounded it, witnesses reported seeing Li holding McLean’s head in the air, taunting officers.

Tim McLean’s mother Carol de Delley said Monday’s she’s opposed to Li having visits into Selkirk and feels he is still a danger and should be locked up for life.

She told CTV Winnipeg she doesn’t doubt that while Li is in care in hospital, he’s well managed.

“What happens when he’s not in care anymore?” she said on Tuesday.

De Delley says she was not pleased with how Li’s case has been handled by the justice system.

“I think Canada needs to do better in the way we treat mentally ill killers and what we do with them. I don’t think we should be treating and releasing them,” she said.

“Treating them, medicating them, managing them, I think Vince Li can be managed; I don’t think he can be cured.”

The board’s decision was released Thursday.

It includes a number of conditions, including that Li’s pass privileges start at 30 minutes and “increase incrementally to a maximum of full days,” said the board.

The board said he also has to be escorted at all times off grounds by a staff member and a peace officer.

The visits also depend on his treatment team being “of the opinion that his condition is stable and that it would be appropriate and safe for him to leave the locked ward,” said the board.

The head of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada said this week that the public has nothing to worry about Li’s visits.

Chris Summerville, the group’s CEO, says he has met with Vince Li several times and has found him to be a gentle person who has responded very well to treatment at the hospital.

“The reality is that Mr. Li is not deficient, Mr Li is not a criminal; he is a patient. And patients get better. And he is getting better,” Summerville told CTV’s Canada AM Tuesday.

Prior to the Greyhound incident, Li had most recently worked as a courier for two Edmonton newspapers.

With files from CTV Winnipeg and The Canadian Press

Click here to read the article on the CTV Edmonton website.