Officer faces jail for taking three hostages at gunpoint — (The Canadian Press)

SSRI Ed note: Policeman in Paxil withdrawal takes hostages at gunpoint, makes threats, is charged and convicted.

Original article no longer available

The Canadian Press

WELLAND (Jan 26, 2007)

A Niagara Regional Police constable knew what he was doing when he held three men hostage at gunpoint in October 2002, a judge has ruled.

For that, Ken Redford will be going to prison for at least four years, Judge Stephen Glithero said.

The judge also revoked Redford’s bail after reviewing the results of a threat assessment by the behavioural sciences unit of the Ontario Provincial Police.

That means the 42-year-old officer will remain at the Niagara Detention Centre in protective custody until his sentencing.

The report said Redford “presents a high risk for violence to both himself and others.”

Defence lawyer Dean Pacquette argued his client was not criminally responsible for his actions because of withdrawal from the anti-depressant medication Paxil.

The hostage-taking began when nurses at the Greater Niagara General Hospital told him he would not be allowed to speak to his wife, a patient.

Upset and angry, Redford drove to the Fort Erie police detachment and grabbed his service revolver. He called 911, threatening to shoot himself if he was not allowed to speak with his wife.

He later took three men hostage at the Fort Erie landfill site, threatening to shoot them if his demands were not met. The men were later released unharmed.

Glithero said he would not register a finding of guilt or a conviction until March 6 when Redford returns to court for sentencing.

“We need to determine the appropriate offences to record conviction,” Glithero said, adding Redford stood trial on 11 charges.

Court was told the minimum mandatory sentence for the hostage-taking offence alone is four years in jail.