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B.C. Local News
By Dan Ferguson – Surrey North Delta Leader
Published: February 05, 2009 3:00 PM Updated: February 06, 2009 12:02 AM
Lakhvinder Kahlon couldn’t sit still.
He was slapping at himself, clawing at his chest with his fingernails.
He would pat the air as though he was petting the head of his two-year-old daughter Rajvinder, the child he murdered in his North Delta home in January of 2008.
Kahlon was interviewed 11 days after the killing by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe.
Lohrasbe could not get a coherent account of the incident from Kahlon, who would suddenly weep and howl his daughter’s name.
More than once he abruptly jumped up and left the interview room in the psychiatric hospital.
“He was all over the place,” said Lohrasbe, who was testifying Thursday about his encounter with Kahlon at a B.C. Supreme Court sentencing hearing in New Westminster.
On Monday, Kahlon ended his trial on first-degree murder charges by pleading guilty to the lesser offence of second-degree murder.
The sentence for both categories is the same – an automatic life term in prison.
The difference is Kahlon can get paroled earlier, with a minimum wait of 10 years instead of 25.
His lawyer wanted the earliest possible supervised release of 10 years, while the prosecutor sought 12 to 13 years.
The judge is expected to make his decision tomorrow (Friday).
At the hearing, Lohrasbe said medical records show that Kahlon was severely depressed for more than two years before the murder.
During the Thursday hearing, Kahlon, a small round-faced man with close-cropped hair and beard stubble and dark circles under his eyes, sat slumped at a desk in prison-issue red sweatshirt and pants, eyes downcast as he listened to a court-appointed translator.
Lohrasbe said Kahlon seemed to have focussed on his third child as an added source of stress.
“(In his eyes) her presence put the family under additional financial strain.”
Even though Kahlon was getting psychiatric counselling and [likely because he was – SSRI Ed] taking anti-depressants and occasionally anti-psychotic medication, his symptoms were extreme.
He would talk to himself and sometimes he would complain to his wife that he had “bugs in his head that would not stop,” Lohrasbe said.
“My mind is not right,” Kahlon once said.
The doctor noted that Kahlon had no history of violence or aggressive behaviour until he suddenly smothered his daughter, then decapitated her while his wife was walking their two older daughters to a nearby school.
He also had no substance abuse problem.
Lohrasbe said that makes Kahlon unlikely to pose a threat to public safety on release from prison, but the doctor recommended keeping him away from his surviving daughters and “any relationship with a helpless child should be monitored.”
It is not clear whether Kahlon ever became truly psychotic, which involves a complete break from reality.
“To my mind, it’s a question mark,”Lohrasbe said.