Man found guilty of murdering mom; family blames mental health services
Published Friday, June 16, 2017 12:00PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, June 16, 2017 7:11PM PDT
Relatives of a Vancouver woman who was murdered by her own son are blaming mental health services for failing their family.
“An implementation of more relevant laws must be addressed and change needs to happen so that this doesn’t happen to other families or innocent people,” said Warren Clare, the husband of Barbara Whitlock, who was found dead in her Dunbar home in 2014.
On Friday, the victim’s son, Brian Whitlock, was found guilty of second-degree murder in his mother’s death.
Police arrested the 30-year-old in November of 2014, following an eight-hour-long standoff at a home in Vancouver’s Dunbar neighbourhood, where Barbara’s body was found the night before.
According to Vancouver police, Whitlock barricaded himself inside the residence, sparking a stalemate with negotiators, officers and Emergency Response Team members.
Officers used a flash-bang and non-lethal ammunition to arrest him.
Whitlock first made headlines after he admitted to beating his German shepherd, Captain, with a baseball bat in 2012 and leaving the dog for dead. The two-year-old dog was found covered in cuts, bruises and puncture wounds and died of his injuries the next day.
Whitlock was sentenced to 60 days in jail and a lifetime ban on owning animals.
Barbara had been supporting her son emotionally and financially following that conviction, the court heard on Friday.
Defence lawyers say they intend to ask for a mental health assessment next week, prior to Whitlock’s sentencing.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Julie Nolin