Canadian Security Magazine

Alberta hostage taker poses risk on release if not monitored: parole board

By Tamsyn Burgmann for The Canadian Press   

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VANCOUVER — An Alberta man who took nine hostages in an Edmonton office building in 2009 still poses a danger to society and should be moved to a halfway house when granted automatic release, says the federal parole board.

Patrick Clayton, 45, is scheduled for mandatory release on June 12, but the parole board recommends the new condition in addition to the others he’s been under while on day parole.

“The board finds that a real potential for violent behaviour continues to exist in your case,” the board said in its latest decision for Clayton released Friday.

“The board has noted the connection between substance abuse and your violent, threatening index offences.”

Clayton was granted day parole last November after serving about four years of his six-year, 10-month sentence.

In October 2009, he stormed a Workers’ Compensation Board office with a loaded rifle and held hostages at gun point for about 10 hours. For three weeks leading up to the crime, he did not eat, barely slept and was smoking up to 14 grams of crack cocaine a day. He was also operating his apartment as a “crack house.”

After sentencing in November 2011, Clayton was placed in two prisons in Edmonton, then held at the medium-security Mission Institution east of Vancouver.

On day parole he completed a 70-day residential treatment program in the Fraser Valley and then was transferred to a residential treatment centre on Vancouver Island.

In March he was moved to an undisclosed location and that’s where he still lives, according to the decision.

The board said Clayton has used drugs while on parole, and called his attitude “entitled” after he explained he had been celebrating his birthday. The board also expressed concern that he minimized the significance of breaching a condition.

Also at issue is that Clayton has been living with a family member who is often away from the home working, said the board.

“The board concludes that the oversight and monitoring your case requires — based in part on your very recent breach and misuse of drugs — will not be met by this release plan,” it says.

It found he will benefit from living at a halfway house, where he will have better access to supports and his day-to-day behaviours and attitudes will be monitored.

Clayton must also abide by conditions that include not consuming alcohol or drugs, to follow his treatment plan, to report intimate relationships with women and to stay away from people who misuse substances.

The decision said Clayton’s criminal record began at a young age, and that he had incidents while incarcerated.

When the board initially released the man on day parole, it did so in part based on progress it found that he made through working with aboriginal elders.

The new decision notes he had a dysfunctional childhood and also said he was impacted by residential schools.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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