All of the warning signs were there — but not in time to save a poor young woman who was simply taking the bus to work.

On Tuesday, Tenzin Norbu was found not criminally responsible for setting fire to Nyima Dolma, 28, two years ago, dousing the front of her shirt with lighter fluid he’d packed in a Mason jar and setting her ablaze with a lighter that he needed three tries to ignite.

Norbu had never met Dolma before. He boarded the same 8062 bus from Keele Station after noon on June 17, 2022, and asked only if she was from Tibet. When she replied, “Yes,” he put his deadly plan into action.

Dolma died 18 days later in a hospital, never recovering from the painful burns to 60% of her body that she suffered.

Superior Court Justice Maureen Forestell agreed with a joint position by the Crown and defence to find Norbu NCR due to the undiagnosed schizophrenia that he was suffering from at the time.

“I am satisfied on a balance of probabilities that Mr. Norbu was actively psychotic at the time of the offence,” Forestell said in her judgment. “His psychosis rendered him incapable of accessing rational choice at the time he killed Ms. Dolma. He was unable to distinguish right from wrong as a result of his psychotic symptoms.”


His dark, long beard and hair unkempt, Norbu listened to her ruling through a translator and showed no emotion as he was told that it would be up the Ontario Review Board to hold a hearing with 45 days to determine which psychiatric hospital will treat him until he’s no longer considered a risk to the community.

According to forensic psychiatrist Alina Iosif, Norbu had longstanding delusions that the Tibetan community hated him and were speaking badly about his sexual history and mental illness. At the time of the attack, he believed Dolma was recording him or had seen a video of him and was disparaging him at length — when really all she’d said in Tibetan was “yes.”

Court heard he’d been trying to get help for his mental illness for years, but had been misdiagnosed with depression rather than treated for schizophrenia.