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RCMP seek offender out on psychiatric hospital day pass

The Forensic Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farm in Coquitlam on Nov. 29, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Police are looking for another patient who has taken an unauthorized absence from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.

Kurt Derksen, 58, was allowed to be at his brother's home in Richmond on a day pass, but left the home Thursday while his brother was otherwise occupied, RCMP say.

Mr. Derksen is now wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at large.

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RCMP, in a statement, said he may be headed for an airport.

In the last year, 43 patients at the 190-bed facility have failed to return from day leaves, raising concerns about the security of the hospital complex which houses offenders found not criminally responsible for offences due to mental disorders.

One patient remains at large after failing to return in May while on a day pass.

In its defense, the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, which operates the hospital, has noted that the 42 unauthorized leaves have to be seen in the context of 19,000 leaves granted since 2010.

The commission also notes that of the 42 unauthorized leaves, 31 were back at the hospital within 24 hours.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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