Toronto van strike defendant has a hard time to understand emotions, psychiatrist testifies

A psychiatrist has testified that the man who killed 10 people in Toronto’s van attack struggles to understand both his and other people’s emotions.

Dr. Rebecca Chauhan says Alek Minassian could not grasp the difficulties his parents have gone through since the attack on April 23, 2018.

Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

The defence says he should be found not criminally responsible for his actions that day due to autism spectrum disorder.

The 28-year-old has admitted in court to planning and carrying out the attack.

Minassian’s state of mind at the time of the attack is the only issue at play in trial.

His father testified earlier this week that his son claimed he didn’t do anything wrong, showed no remorse and offered no apology for the attack.

Chauhan says she met with Minassian three times in September 2018 in order to assess him clinically.

“It was my view that he really did suffer with some amount of mind blindness, lacking theory of the mind,” Chauhan said.

“He seemed to struggle with fully grasping the internal world of other people and why other people would be so distressed.”

She says Minassian also struggled to describe his own emotions.

Chauhan said he showed no emotion throughout her interviews.

This article first published here www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-alek-minassian-struggles-to-understand-emotions-psychiatrist/

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