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Criminal Law - Dangerous and long-term offenders - Long-term offender designation - Eventual control of risk in community - Substantial risk of re-offending

Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 7:00 PM  

Appeal by Pascal from his designation as a long-term offender and from the resulting seven-year long-term supervision order. He also sought leave to appeal from his determinate sentence of two years’ imprisonment. The predicate offence was a violent sexual assault on a sex trade worker that took place shortly after Pascal’s 18th birthday. Pascal had been apprehended from his mother’s care at the age of two years old and had become a Crown ward when he was six years old. He spent his entire childhood in foster homes, where he claimed he was beaten and starved. His criminal record commenced when he was 13 years old and included 25 offences. He was considered a high risk to re-offend violently, as he lacked insight into his violence, blamed others and minimized his responsibility for his conduct. He had responded poorly to treatment in the past. A dangerous offender designation was not imposed because there was some suggestion that Pascal was a good prospect for treatment and that the risk he posed might be managed in the community with proper treatment and supervision. The sentencing judge considered a custodial term of two years’ imprisonment necessary given the seriousness of the predicate offence and the need to provide Pascal with an opportunity to participate in intensive institutional treatment programs aimed at addressing his risk.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The judge did not ignore Pascal’s age, as his youth was central to the judge’s determination that a dangerous offender designation was not appropriate. A history of adult offences was not necessary to meet the criteria for a long-term offender designation. Pascal, with his youth record, had demonstrated the requisite pattern of repetitive behaviour. His age did not obviate the long-term offender designation. Sentence: two years’ imprisonment; long-term offender designation; seven-year supervision order - Criminal Code, ss. 271. 753, 753.1.