Desmond inquiry: psychiatrist says soldier with PTSD had no treatment for four years


An inquiry investigating why a former soldier killed three family members and himself in 2017 heard today from the psychiatrist who first diagnosed Lionel Desmond with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Vinod Joshi, who works part-time at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick, told the inquiry that Desmond was suffering from moderate to severe PTSD when he was assessed in 2011.

Joshi, a civilian contractor with the Canadian Armed Forces, says the then-corporal had been subjected to traumatic events while serving as a rifleman during the war in Afghanistan in 2007.

The psychiatrist told the inquiry that Desmond had not received any mental health treatment after experiencing heavy combat over a seven-month deployment.

As well, Joshi confirmed Desmond was dealing with marital difficulties throughout his course of treatment, which ended when the infantryman was medically released from the military in 2015.

On Jan. 3, 2017, Desmond bought a rifle and later that day shot his 31-year-old wife, Shanna, their 10-year-daughter, Aaliyah, and his 52-year-old mother, Brenda, before killing himself in their home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.