X. Explanation of Terms

Mental disorder:
A disease of the mind. No person is criminally responsible for an act that is committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that renders the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act.
Not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCRMD):
A verdict that acknowledges that, while the accused committed the offence, they were incapable of understanding the wrongness of their actions.
Unfit to stand trial (UST):
When an accused is unable to proceed with the trial due to being unable to understand the nature of the proceedings, which may include any of: not understanding what they are charged with and/or what they can plead (and what the outcome of any plea is); not understanding the courtroom, who the people in the courtroom are or why they are there; and not being able to communicate their wishes or communicate at all with their lawyer.
Review Boards:
Independent, provincially appointed tribunals who make or review the dispositions of patients found UST or NCRMD. They consist of at least five people. The chairperson must be a judge, retired judge or person qualified to be appointed as a judge and there must be at least one licensed psychiatrist.
Disposition order:
Essentially, what happens to the patient when found NCRMD or UST. There are three options: detained in a psychiatric facility; allowed to live in the community with conditions (a conditional discharge); and release directly into the community with no conditions (an absolute discharge).
Victim impact statements:
A written submission to the Review Board that the victim makes; to be considered by the Review Board when making disposition orders. In their own words, the victim may describe the harm and/or loss they have suffered as a result of their victimization. They can be written by anyone who has been affected by the crime.
Mental illness:
Refers to a wide range of mental health conditions, including disorders that affect mood, thinking and behaviour. For the purposes of this document, mental illness refers to diseases of the mind that lead to a finding of NCRMD or UST.

My name is Donna McCully.

It was always our wish to live in Jamaica in our dream home. So, in August 2012, my husband Sedrick Levine and I left Canada to move into our new home. We were thrilled to finally be starting the next chapter in our lives, in Sedrick’s beloved homeland. He bought a little bus and planned to operate tours for visitors to the island. I was helping him run this business venture, as part of our semi- retirement in Jamaica.

My life as I knew it was suddenly shattered when two masked men broke into our home on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Sedrick struggled with the men, allowing me to flee upstairs to call the police. His actions saved my life that day, and that of my father and his housekeeper, who were visiting us at the time. One of the masked intruders chased me upstairs and kicked in the bathroom door, but he stopped when he heard a gunshot from downstairs.

My husband Sedrick was killed that day and the men fled our home with a laptop. The Jamaican police have not yet found these men or charged them with killing my beloved husband. Their motive remains unknown.

This crime has completely changed my life. I suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder now and have depression as a result. I came back to Canada, but I feel very isolated since this happened. These emotional scars may never heal.

I managed to find the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime by searching online one day. I didn’t know where to turn for help when I came home to Canada. The CRCVC has provided me with a lot of emotional support, which has been tremendously helpful. They’ve also written numerous letters to Jamaican officials seeking justice for Sedrick, as well as intervening with Canadian officials on my behalf. The office also helped connect me to a trauma therapist for counselling sessions too.

In order to try and make sense of what happened to Sedrick, it is my hope that others could support the work of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. There are so many other victims/survivors out there who also need their assistance.