MONTREAL — Ex-doctor Guy Turcotte, who killed his own children, is the first Canadian to be added to the National DNA Data Bank for criminals despite being found not criminally responsible.
Turcotte, 40, has been held in a mental hospital since last year, when a jury north of Montreal ruled he was shouldn’t go to jail for stabbing his young son and daughter 46 times in 2009, killing them both.
In a ruling Wednesday, Judge Marc David ordered Turcotte's DNA sample to be added to the database of 300,000 Canadian criminals.
The judge cited the "gravity" of the killings, adding that the law "clearly outweigh(s) the respondent's right to privacy."
"The nature of the offense and the circumstances surrounding it … are key elements of the case, given the level of violence used and the use of a knife” against “young victims with whom he was in position of authority,” the judge said.
The former cardiologist killed his son Olivier, 5, and daughter Anne-Sophie, 3, in a rented home in Piedmont, Que., in February 2009.
Turcotte's marriage was crumbling when he killed his children and a jury decided he wouldn't be sent to prison because he was depressed, anxious and suicidal.
Stressing that there is "no precedent" for his ruling, Judge David said registering Turcotte in the criminal database is in the interests of the state, the administration of justice and the protection of society.
The judge added that while Turcotte wasn't convicted of the killings, "this particular verdict is not an acquittal."
Turcotte's ex-wife Isabelle Gaston, who worked as a doctor at the same hospital as Turcotte, said the judge's decision left her relieved.
"The only word that comes to mind is finally," she told QMI Agency, adding that she felt "protected by this decision."
Turcotte has been held at a Montreal mental hospital since the verdict and is allowed to take unescorted leave.
A review board will decide in December when he can be released.
The Crown believes Turcotte deserves prison time and prosecutors have asked the Quebec Court of Appeal to order a new trial.
The appeals court is expected to issue a ruling early next year.