A woman who posed as a registered nurse and injected three patients with anti-wrinkle and filler injectables has avoided jail time, instead being ordered to undergo psychiatric assessment to determine whether she is mentally fit for sentencing.
43 year-old Canadian Shiva Ashkani had been found guilty of eight charges last December, including criminal negligence causing bodily harm, fraud under $5000, uttering threats and aggravated assault, and was expected to be facing prison after yesterday’s hearing.
Ashkani carried out the dodgy procedures last year through tanning salon ‘Tanning Is The lifestyle’, who found her through Canadian classifieds Kijiji. Her page boasted 21 years’ experience operating as medical cosmetician in Beverly Hills, Vancouver and Toronto, and when she met with the owners of the business, she even presented a diploma qualifying her as a registered nurse.
On of Ashkani’s patients, who paid over $700 for anti-wrinkle injections, reportedly suffered bleeding and pea-sized lumps, along with blackened eyes for three weeks afterwards. Another who paid $850 for injectables and a chemical peel said she experienced “burning and excruciating pain” and eyes swollen almost shut immediately after treatment.
Ashkani’s mental health was never questioned during her initial trial, but during these latest proceedings, Ashkani’s court-appointed lawyer called upon forensic psychiatrist Dr. Derek Pallandi to question him about a 4-hour examination of Ashkani in August this year, after being engaged to do so by Ashkani’s lawyer.
“At the beginning, she talked virtually non-stop,” he testified. “Much of it paranoid ideas, visibly agitated.” Pallandi claimed that she suffered from bi-polar, possible borderline personality disorder and a long history of mental illness.
He also stated that Ashkani’s behaviour directly before proceedings concerned him deeply. “She began engaging members of the public, the press I presume, in inappropriate ways. She was disinhibited. I think her conduct in the courtroom this morning caused me the most significant concerns.”
When asked by the crown attorney, Pallandi said it was possible but not likely that she was malingering. “Psychiatrists who work in the legal field tend to be quite sensitive to issues of malingering or deception. Unfitness delays legal proceedings, it does not remove criminal responsibility,” he said.
Ultimately, the presiding judge ordered a 30-day inpatient fitness assessment be conducted, which would not take place until November 15th to allow time for a psychiatric facility to be found. Ashkani’s lawyer later explained outside the court how unusual it is for a fitness assessment to be ordered after someone is convicted of a crime.