Attack Blamed on Wrong Medication — (The Winnipeg Sun)

SSRI Ed note: Cascading at its worst: Man becomes violent on antidepressants, meds ID'd as cause but problem blamed on wrong diagnosis, he is given anti-psychotics.

Original article no longer available

The Winnipeg Sun


A Manitoba man facing a possible prison sentence after a brutal, prolonged assault on his on-again, off-again girlfriend blamed the attack on medication he was taking after being misdiagnosed with depression.

Daniel Roy, 37, has pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing bodily harm for the July 15, 2004 attack.

The wrong diagnosis, combined with alcohol abuse “elevated his aggressive behaviour and made it virtually uncontrollable,” said Roy’s lawyer Sheldon Pinx, quoting from a doctor’s report.

Roy has since been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder and is taking anti-psychotic drugs, Pinx said.

Court heard Roy was under a court order not to contact the 34-year-old victim when, shortly before 3 a.m., he followed her on foot from a Lorette bar and began yelling at her.

The woman tried to run away and call 911 but Roy snatched the cellphone from her hand before she could tell a dispatcher her address.

Roy knocked the victim to the ground outside her home and proceeded to choke her and gouge her eyes. The victim estimated the assault lasted up to an hour before Roy released her and allowed her to enter her home.

While the woman showered, Roy continued to yell and scream and pound on the walls, the woman told police.

At 6 a.m., the woman ran naked from the house, attempting to reach a nearby gas station. Roy dragged her back to the house and resumed the beating. When she blacked out, Roy became frightened and called his mother, who drove over and took the victim to her Lac du Bonnet home.

The victim remained at the home for one day before her mother was alerted to her whereabouts and picked her up.

Court did not hear whether the woman remained at the home voluntarily or was kept against her will.

The woman spent five days in hospital and suffered extensive bruising, a punctured lung and bleeding on the brain.

Roy was convicted of assaulting the same woman in 2002 and was sentenced to two years probation. He was also convicted of assaulting a different woman in 1996.

Violence and rage

Crown attorney Melinda Murray said the level of violence and rage Roy exhibited in the attack justified a penitentiary sentence. She said the victim continues to fear Roy and suffers from depression, loss of confidence and panic attacks.

Pinx said the victim’s recent behaviour paints a very different picture. Pinx said according to his client, the couple have resumed a romantic relationship and the woman is expecting their second child. He said the woman proposed to Roy last spring and Roy accepted.

“I find it hard to understand maintaining such fear of a man you want to marry,” Pinx said.

Justice Karen Simonsen requested further submissions from the Crown and adjourned sentencing to later this month.