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Vitamin therapy blamed in NV killing

Victim's sister says med change allowed attack

THE sister of a man who was brutally bludgeoned to death by his schizophrenic son said Friday she believes her brother Donald Ramsay would still be alive if her nephew had stayed on his anti-psychotic medication.

"It was a totally preventable death," said LeeAnn Ramsay, who spoke outside B.C. Supreme Court on Friday following a ruling in the case of 28-year-old Jordan Ramsay of North Vancouver.

Ramsay will be sent to a psychiatric hospital instead of prison after a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled he was not criminally responsible for killing his father because of serious mental illness.

Justice Deborah Kloegman ruled that Ramsay can't be held legally responsible for bludgeoning his father Donald Ramsay to death and gravely injuring his mother Wendy Ramsay in the family's home on Nov. 5, 2011.

Kloegman said Ramsay was suffering from extreme schizophrenic delusions at the time that made him incapable of deciding if his actions were right or wrong.

Kloegman based her decision on a number of psychiatric assessments of Ramsay.

Kloegman noted when Ramsay was taken to Lions Gate Hospital after the attack on his parents he told hospital staff "his body was overtaken by a demon" and that "he hears demons talking out of other people's mouths."

Ramsay attacked his parents while they were sleeping in the early hours of Nov. 5, smashing his father's head and his mother's face with either a hammer or a hatchet wrench.

Ramsay, who has suffered from schizophrenia since he was 16, had been prescribed a high dose of anti-psychotic drug earlier in 2011.

But just two days before the attack, a mental health nurse who met with Ramsay and his mother discovered Ramsay was only taking a tiny fraction of that dose.

Ramsay's mother told the nurse she wanted to treat her son with Truehope vitamins instead, according to a psychiatrist who testified in the case.

Outside the court, LeeAnn Ramsay said she blames the vitamin company for marketing their products as a cure for mental illness and a replacement for prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.

Ramsay said she thinks Health Canada should take more action to regulate the company.

At the same time, Ramsay said there should be more resources put into helping people with mental illness.

Her brother and his wife struggled with their son's mental illness for 17 years, she said, "and they didn't get much help."

Kevin Hemmingson, Wendy Ramsay's brother, said both the horrific attack and the court case have been "tough on all of us."

Hemmingson said he doesn't believe his sister deliberately took her son off his medications.

Hemmingson said his sister - who is being cared for by her parents in Saskatchewan - is still recovering both physically and emotionally, but would like to see her son again one day.

Jordan Ramsay's fate will now be decided by a three-member review panel that will determine how long he should be kept in the psychiatric hospital and when - if ever - he should be allowed out.