(This story originally appeared in the Dec. 11, 2014 edition of the Chilliwack Times.)
A former University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) student alleged to have threatened teachers and students after vandalizing the downtown campus at Five Corners was released by a judge last Friday.
Crown counsel Anna Tosso asked the court to have 32-year-old Brian Daniel Morrison remanded for a psychological assessment after what even the judge deemed “bizarre and troubling behaviour.”
Morrison faces one charge of mischief, two charges of uttering threats and, most recently, a breach of bail conditions.
On Sept. 18, security footage allegedly showed Morrison put crumpled newspaper in the glass door handles of the UFV building (the old Bank of Montreal at Five Corners) and then light it on fire, Tosso said.
Then on Nov. 4, Griffin Security guard Shawn Dean was called to the UFV building to deal with a disturbance. Tosso told the court Dean alleges Morrison said a number of unusual things, including: “You will know my name by the end of the day,” and “I’m going to make them pay.”
The Crown alleges Morrison then threatened both Dean, and students and teachers at UFV.
“Where is this coming from?” Morrison blurted out in court, a statement that garnered no response from lawyers or the judge.
He was in custody on Friday because he was arrested for a breach of his bail conditions for showing up to the downtown UFV campus on Dec. 5. He was alleged to be alone around noon and, when police were called to deal with an “unwanted male,” Morrison told the officer he was holding a candlelight vigil for the women killed at Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. (An actual vigil was held at the main UFV campus at about the same time.) Morrison made frequent gestures in the prisoner’s box Friday suggesting confusion or surprise at what was alleged in court.
His lawyer, Philip Derksen, argued there was no reason to keep him for a psychological evaluation and he should be released.
Derksen told the court that “something happened with somebody at UFV” to set his client off. “There are issues between Mr. Morrison and the University of the Fraser Valley,” Derksen said. “He believes someone from the university has been harassing him at his home.”
Judge Kenneth Skilnick said he understood the Crown’s concern but denied the request to remand the 32-year-old.
“The bizarre behaviour causes troubling concern about what might happen next,” Skilnick said.
He ordered Morrison released on $1,000 bail and conditions that he have no contact with Dean and that he say 100 metres away from UFV, except to report to his bail supervisor and the courthouse, which is across the street.
Morrison is next in court Dec. 16.