'Floridly psychotic' attacker gets parole
A Kamloops man described by doctors as "floridly psychotic" has been granted parole.
In a decision dated Feb. 16, but released by the Parole Board of Canada on Thursday, March 7, officials gave Robert Semchuk the right to reside outside of a jail cell — or psychiatric hospital — for the first time since 2006.
In 2009, the Crown applied to have the 49-year-old labelled a dangerous offender — a tag that would have seen him jailed indefinitely.
Instead, a B.C. Supreme Court judge named Semchuk a long-term offender and sentenced him to nine years in a federal prison.
That sentence was shortened to six years after Semchuk was given credit for time served before trial.
In 2006, Semchuk attacked and stabbed a 60-year-old woman at random outside Royal Inland Hospital before fleeing with her purse in a stolen car.
He was arrested after a police pursuit stretching from Kamloops to Merritt to Peachland.
Less than a year after his arrest, Semchuk was charged with assault causing bodily harm for attacking a corrections officer at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre.
Semchuk was in segregation at the time and the officer was transporting the handcuffed prisoner to another area in the jail.
After head-butting the guard, Semchuk was tackled by four other officers.
He was handed an additional 18 months in jail for the attack and ordered to spend another 30 days in segregation at KRCC.
Semchuk's federal sentence expires in May 2015. At its conclusion, he will be bound by a long-term supervision order for 10 years.
He will be released on statutory parole on May 19, 2013, and ordered to live in a halfway house under close supervision.
According to the parole document, at least one justice official — a community corrections liaison officer — felt Semchuk "will commit further violent acts which will result in serious harm or even death."