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.

Just Posted

Surrey ‘foam-free Vaisakhi’ initiative inspires ‘Sweet Takeaways’ business

KPU students launch business selling sugarcane takeout containers as alternative to foam, single-use items

Driver escaped uninjured as car burst into flames on Nordel Way

It happened at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in North Delta, just west of Scott Road

Rainbow benches installed outside Delta rec centres

The benches are among several initiatives adopted in July aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion

Christmas events happening around Cloverdale and Langley

Christmas community calendar highlights holiday events

VIDEO: Ron MacLean says he doesn’t believe former co-host Don Cherry is racist

Sportsnet fired Cherry on Nov. 11, two days after controversial on-air comments during ‘Coach’s Corner’

No turn signals, double-parking among top concerns for B.C. drivers: poll

Two-thirds of B.C. drivers said that not using turn signals was their biggest pet peeve

Man accused in fatal Shuswap church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

PHOTOS: Patients pelt doctors with snowballs, all for BC Children’s Hospital

The snowball fight was to raise funds for the annual Snowball Fight for Kids Campaign

Union to prepare for picket lines, announce new measures in transit strike escalation

Unifor said the move comes after a ‘failure by the employer to make new offers at the bargaining table’

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

‘Our culture is not a religion,’ Indigenous educator tells B.C. Supreme Court in case of smudging at school

Mother also gave evidence Tuesday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Wednesday

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Trudeau to take sober approach to unveiling new cabinet for minority mandate

Liberals survived a bruising campaign that diminished Trudeau’s stature as a champion of diversity

Most Read

l -->