Mother of accused details extent of son’s illness. Sketch: Lucy Weissflog

A tearful day in court

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By Jake Scott and Dylan Freeman-Grist

The mother of alleged murderer Farshad Badkhshan gave a tearful testimony against her son’s sanity on March 4.

The defence called Sedigheh Moradi to testify about her son’s decent into mental illness, which she said began early in 2007.

She recounted her family’s migration to Canada and consequential settling and resettling across the country such as Halifax, Pickering, Ont. and Vancouver.

Badahkshan is pleading that he’s not criminally responsible for the death of Ryerson student Carina Petrache in July of 2010.

Defence attorney Victoria Rivers spoke to the jury just after 10a.m. on March 4, advocating directly to the jury on Badakhshan’s behalf for the first time in the trial.

“You’ve heard about his strange weird, bizarre behaviour,” Rivers said. She argued that all the crown had brought forth recounting the absurd nature of Badahkshan at the time of Petrache’s death was purely the result of a “psychiatric disorder resistant to anti-psychotic medication.”

Moradi had left to live by herself inVancouver. It wasn’t long before Badakhshan had joined her across the country that she noticed a change in his behaviour.

“He said the people from Halifax are after him,” Moradi told the jury. At one point while staying with Badakhshan in a Toronto apartment, he had approached her with a knife and calm expression.

“[He said], ‘Mom I love you I want to take you with me,’” said Moradi, fighting back tears.

She then told the court that she moved to Calgary in July of 2007, leaving Badakhshan alone in Toronto. “You have not heard at all about what happened to Mr. Badahkshan,” said Rivers to the jury.

She then showed the jury a photo of Badakhshan before severe burning and the multiple skin graphs, in July 2010.

“You will also see Mr.Badakhshan [was in] a medically induced coma for several months after the incident,” said Rivers. “That he tried to kill himself when given the opportunity to do so.”

She noted the testimony of Peter Tran in which he recounted some of the last words of Petrache.

Rivers argued Tran’s recollection of Petrache saying “he wouldn’t stop hitting me’” was by the psychological and physical trauma Petrache suffered before her death.

The trial continues.

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