Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Good Samaritan killed:  the accused not criminally responsible

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Paul Pender, who was 54 when he died in 2022, promoted organic wines and won several awards.


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A man who was in crisis when he stabbed a renowned Niagara winemaker to death in 2022 was found not criminally responsible for his actions last week in Superior Court of Justice.

Bradley House, who pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, suffered from mental health issues and had used drugs before attacking Paul Pender at his cottage in Selkirk, Ontario.

According to court documents, the accused was incapable of rational thought and knowing that what he was doing was wrong.

Court Judge Superior Michael Bordin accepted the defense's arguments and called the events tragic and a Good Samaritan nightmare.

Bradley House will remain committed to the forensic psychiatry department at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton Hospital. The Ontario Review Board will determine what risk he poses and how much freedom he will be able to enjoy.

The judge and two experts in forensic psychiatry concluded that the suspect had no memory of the attack. The accused's lawyer, Beth Bromberg, said he felt remorse and could hardly believe he killed Paul Pender.

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Bradley House, who is 33 years old, was carrying out renovations in a house located in approximately 1.5 km from the victim's cottage on February 3, 2022. He was addicted to cocaine and oxycodone and suffered from mental health issues, including visual and auditory hallucinations.

During the evening, he ventured outside without a coat in the middle of a snowstorm and attempted to remove a camera he thought he had in his ear. He arrived at the chalet very distraught and bleeding from the mouth and ear.

Mr. Pender pretended to remove an imaginary twig from the man's ear using tweezers while his wife called 911. Bradley House eventually grabbed a knife and stabbed the victim. p>

A medical evaluation of Bradley House at the crime scene describes him as unintelligible, moaning, stammering, shaking and gurgling.

Paul Pender, who worked for Tawse Wine and Spirits, is survived by his wife and several children and grandchildren.

With information from Bobby Hristova, ofCBC

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