1707992611 Death of police officer Maureen Breau Another psychiatrist testifies

Death of police officer Maureen Breau | Another psychiatrist testifies at the public inquiry

(Montreal) The last psychiatrist who spoke to a mentally ill Quebecer before he fatally stabbed a provincial police sergeant in March last year had a particularly difficult phone conversation with him a few days before the murder, according to coroner's hearings on Wednesday.

Published yesterday at 11:16 p.m.


Sidhartha Banerjee The Canadian Press

Dr. Hélène Poirier was assigned to Isaac Brouillard Lessard's file in February 2022. Testifying on the third day of the coroner's inquest, she confirmed that Brouillard Lessard became angry, insulted her and shouted at her during a telephone conversation on March 22, 2023, at which point she hung up.

“I was more upset than worried because it was the same message I had heard before… for me it was the Isaac I knew,” she claimed.

Death of police officer Maureen Breau Another psychiatrist testifies


Maureen Breau

The call came just five days before he attacked provincial police sergeant Maureen Breau as she and her colleagues tried to arrest him. The event occurred in Louiseville, Quebec, about 100 kilometers northeast of Montreal.

Isaac Brouillard Lessard, 35, stabbed the sergeant with a kitchen knife and seriously injured his colleague before being shot dead by police.

The inquest by coroner Géhane Kamel, which began on Monday at the Trois-Rivières courthouse, aims to shed light on the circumstances of these two deaths.

Dr. Poirier was one of several psychiatrists who testified this week about the treatment Brouillard Lessard received a decade ago. She noted that the day after the conversation, a calmer Brouillard called Lessard back and they were able to arrange a meeting for April.

On Monday, a member of the Independent Investigations Bureau testified that Brouillard provincial police officers visited Lessard three days before his murder of Ms. Breau after her parents raised concerns about her deteriorating mental state. Police concluded there was no reason to arrest him.

Hélène Poirier described Brouillard Lessard as stable and that he had shown no signs of psychosis during the year he was her patient. Although difficult to cope with, she noted that Brouillard Lessard accepted several dosage increases of his antipsychotic medication and was able to hold down multiple jobs. She said she had difficulty contacting Brouillard Lessard between April and October 2022 because he was working.

Coroner Géhane Kamel raised questions about the months-long gap because Brouillard Lessard had been under the supervision of Quebec's Mental Disorders Review Commission since 2014 after he was found not criminally responsible for five crimes.

“It would have been better if there had been meetings,” Ms. Poirier admitted.

Which safety net for the attacker?

Brouillard Lessard's erratic behavior led to his file being closed in December 2023 by a team of associates who had been tracking him for a year.

The team decided to put an end to it because Brouillard Lessard was uncooperative, difficult to manage, and often refused services offered to him.

Marie-Maude Beaulieu, an employee of this team, explained that even if Brouillard Lessard had refused the services of employees, he was stable, with no psychotic relapses or criminal incidents documented in 2022. “When we closed the file, we had no concern for Isaac,” Ms. Beaulieu said.

Géhane Kamel expressed concerns that there was no safety net for Brouillard Lessard – other than his parents, who monitored his mental health remotely and called authorities to voice their concerns.

“We can’t follow everyone who has a criminal past,” Ms. Beaulieu argued. “It is utopian to believe that social workers can always make a difference. “This is a heavy burden on these workers,” she added.