Psychiatric interview with Batstone ‘raised red flags,’ court hears

Psychiatric interview with Batstone ‘raised red flags,’ court hears

Doctor testifies that mother knew actions the day her daughter died were legally wrong

Accused South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone tried to give the impression she was psychotically ill at the time of her eight-year-old daughter’s death, BC Supreme Court officials heard Wednesday.

Forensic psychiatrist Jeanette Smith – called by defence counsel to testify in Batstone’s second-degree murder trial – spent four hours Wednesday painting a picture of Batstone’s mental state before and after the incident.

The court heard that in the hours following the Dec. 10, 2014 discovery of Teagan’s body, Batstone provided graphic details about killing her daughter to police, hospital staff and Peace Arch Hospital psychiatrist Dr. Douglas Maskall. However, Smith said when she interviewed Batstone in February and May in 2015, the mother changed her tone.

“She maintained she had no recollection of smothering her daughter – no, or little, memory of the actual offence,” Smith told the court.

That and other contradictory information, Smith said, “raised red flags” for her around the reliability of Batstone’s statements during their interview.

Batstone was arrested after Teagan’s body was found in the trunk of a car in a cul-de-sac just south of Crescent Road. She entered a not-guilty plea on Oct. 1, 2018, and the trial got underway in mid-November.

Wednesday, Smith was asked to discuss the level of impairment of Batstone’s “executive function” – ability to problem-solve, generate options and weigh consequences. Smith said Batstone’s executive function was likely compromised partly due to “clinically significant” levels of depression and anxiety.

Smith testified that Batstone was likely “unable to know that her actions (on the day Teagan died) were morally wrong,” but it was apparent that she knew they were legally wrong.

“I have concerns that she was able to see the consequences,” Smith said.

Cited red flags included that Batstone had not told police and officials who first interacted with her following Teagan’s death – but had told Smith in her later interviews – about a repeated voice she had heard: “you have to save her, you have to protect her.”

Batstone also provided conflicting reports with respect to her opinion on her ex-husband Gabe Batstone, Smith said. In the hours following her arrest, Batstone told police and hospital staff that Gabe was “evil” and “psychotic.” However, the court heard, Batstone told Smith she holds no anger towards Gabe.

In cross-examination, Crown counsel Christopher McPherson read from one of Smith’s reports outlining her opinion that Batstone’s “hallucination… was perhaps directed at giving the impression to the assessing forensic psychiatrist (Smith) that she had been psychotically ill at the time of the offence, and therefore eligible for a finding of NCRMD (not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder),” McPherson said.

Smith acknowledged she had previously formed the opinion that Batstone was not criminally responsible for the murder, but “now, I cannot concretely say that she is not criminally responsible,” even though executive function was compromised.

Smith was to return to the stand Thursday, after Peace Arch News press time.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

rcmp
South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

Artist Jim Adams pictured in 2017 in the “cockpit” of his home studio in White Rock. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Vancouver Special’ show a home for art by one Surrey Civic Treasure starting May 22

White Rock’s Jim Adams welcomes the ‘major exposure’ at Vancouver Art Gallery

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read