Kenneth McNevin has been found not guilty by reason of a mental disorder of abducting two three-year-old children.
In Sechelt provincial court May 3, McNevin listened quietly as Judge Dan Moon made his ruling based on the report of a forensic psychiatrist who examined McNevin in January. Moon did not discuss the details of that report.
"It's clear to me the appropriate finding is you are not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder," said Moon. The Crown prosecutor and defense lawyer both asked the judge to make that ruling.
McNevin was arrested at the Roberts Creek Hall Nov. 28 during a Christmas craft fair. The children, a boy and a girl, had gone missing in the crowds at the fair. After their mothers initiated a search, the children were found unharmed in McNevin's gold Nissan, which was parked outside the hall.
According to police, the children were not harmed and McNevin made no attempt to drive them away.
At the time of McNevin's arrest, Mar-Lynn Church, organizer of the Roberts Creek Christmas Craft Fair, said he appeared shaky and disoriented, and talked a lot about his new car.
Church said McNevin told her the children had been fighting and he took them to his car to calm them down.
"I told him that was a really stupid thing to do," she said. "I told him the RCMP were called and he should sit here on the log and wait."
McNevin did wait there, and he was arrested without making any attempt to flee or resist, according to police.
McNevin received psychiatric treatment at Lions Gate Hospital after the incident. Since then he has been working in northern B.C.
Moon referred McNevin to a forensic psychiatric review board for disposition. The review board will hold the disposition hearing within 45 days and will decide whether to grant McNevin an absolute discharge or to order him to obey certain conditions.
Until that hearing takes place, McNevin must still obey his bail conditions: that he have no contact with the two children or their parents, that he have no contact with any children under 14 except in the presence of a parent or guardian and that he not go to schools, playgrounds or any other places where children might congregate. He must keep his bail supervisor informed of where he is living.