PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. — An inquiry into a triple murder and suicide involving a former soldier heard today that Lionel Desmond wanted to be a better father and husband as he started his final phase of treatment for PTSD.
Robert Ouelette, a psychiatrist at Ste. Anne’s Hospital in Montreal, told the inquiry that the former infantryman was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression when he arrived for care in May 2016.
The psychiatrist testified that Desmond talked more about his troubled marriage than his PTSD symptoms, which included lack of sleep, flashbacks, poor eating habits and avoidance of social contact.
Ouelette says Desmond showed improvement during part of the treatment regime, as his mood lightened and he became more social and active.
The psychiatrist, however, says Desmond was also diagnosed for the first time with “mixed personality traits,” which mainly involved paranoia of other people, including his spouse.
Ouelette says the former corporal would have benefited from taking additional medications, but he refused, mainly because he was paranoid about the impact of new medication.
Desmond left the hospital in August 2016 before his treatment regime was completed.
Just over four months later, he fatally shot his wife, daughter and mother in their rural Nova Scotia home before turning the gun on himself.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.
The Canadian Press