A jury has begun deliberations in the bizarre trial of a woman who admits to using a golf club and knife to attack employees and customers in a Scarborough Canadian Tire while shouting “This is for ISIS.”
The only evidence the jury heard came Wednesday in a six-page statement of facts read to the jury by the Crown and agreed to by Rehab Dughmosh, 34, who is otherwise refusing to participate in her unusual trial.
Pleas of not guilty to four terrorism-related charges have been entered on her behalf by Superior Court Justice Maureen Forestell.
In court Thursday morning, Forestell instructed the jury that even though Dughmosh has admitted to the facts presented as evidence, jurors must still deliberate and consider the law.
Dughmosh is charged with two counts of assault with a weapon – a golf club she grabbed from the Canadian Tire’s sporting goods section and an eight-inch butcher’s knife she brought from home – for the benefit of or at the direction of or in association with the terror group Daesh, also known as ISIS.
She also faces a charge of carrying a weapon – a compound bow she had previously purchased from the Canadian Tire — for a dangerous purpose for the benefit of or at the direction of or in association with Daesh.
Her fourth charge is for leaving Canada in order to commit an offence, specifically to join Daesh.
It is rare for accused persons to refuse to participate in trials.
The most similar recent case may be that of Chiheb Esseghaier who was convicted in 2015 of several terrorism related charges after he declined to participate in his lengthy trial, and like Dughmosh, represented himself.
Alyshah Hasham is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and court. Follow her on Twitter: @alysanmati