Psychiatrist retained by prosecution to continue testimony at Toronto van attack trial

The prosecution’s final witness in the Toronto van attack trial will continue his testimony on Friday.

By The Canadian Press

The prosecution’s final witness in the Toronto van attack trial will continue his testimony on Friday.

CityNews reporter Adrian Ghobrial is covering the trial, follow his tweets below:


On Thursday, Dr. Scott Woodside, a forensic psychiatrist at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said Alek Minassian told him he believed he would fail in life so he committed the attack that killed 10 people as a way to make his mark in the world.

He said Minassian was particularly worried he would fail at at the job he had lined up for the end of April.

Woodside also testified that Minassian struggled with loneliness and told him that he might have delayed the attack had he been able to finally have a relationship with a woman. That never happened.

The 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

The defence argues Minassian should be held not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018, due to autism spectrum disorder.

Minassian’s state of mind is the sole issue at trial since he has admitted to planning and carrying out the attack.

RELATED: ‘His goal was to be remembered forever:’ psychiatrist says of van attack killer

Minassian has been described by various psychiatrists and psychologists as being highly intelligent with immense social struggles, largely due to autism spectrum disorder.

Woodside said while Minassian never had a relationship with a woman, it wasn’t his sole focus.

Woodside also said Minassian was insightful, which is the opposite picture that has been painted by defence-retained experts at trial.

He said Minassian told him “I don’t think I was mentally ill at the time, to be honest.”

Court has heard that Minassian told various doctors that he long fantasized about school shootings, which helped him work through his anger, especially in high school when he was bullied.

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