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Lawyer: Man’s past kept him in jail

A paranoid schizophrenic man who killed a police officer in 1977 spent almost a year in custody on stalking charges due to his troubled background and problems with the court and mental-health-care system, said Ken Hall, the man’s defence lawyer.

A paranoid schizophrenic man who killed a police officer in 1977 spent almost a year in custody on stalking charges due to his troubled background and problems with the court and mental-health-care system, said Ken Hall, the man’s defence lawyer.

Fred Koepke, 56, received a three-year probation term yesterday, after pleading guilty to a single count of criminal harassment.

In 1978, Koepke was found not criminally responsible due to mental illness for the shooting death of 21-year-old Ottawa police Const. David Kirkwood.

Koepke was arrested Aug. 27, 2009 after a female neighbour complained to police about him following her and repeatedly showing up outside her house between April and August 2009.

Court heard Koepke did not utter any threats, but the victim still feared for her family’s safety.

Koepke was fit for trial when he was arrested, but had problems getting his medication while jailed at the regional detention centre.

As a result, Koepke became unfit, a March 29, 2010 trial was scrapped and he was transferred to the Royal Ottawa Hospital for treatment.

Justice Celine Dorval barred Koepke from contacting or going near his victim or owning weapons for 10 years. She also ordered that he reside at the Salvation Army’s inner city health facility.

 
 
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