January 15th, 2021

Three-week dangerous offender hearing begins

By Kuhl, Nick on February 4, 2020.

Nick Kuhl

Lethbridge Herald


A convicted sex offender who was sentenced in 2019 to nearly seven years in a federal prison could be designated a dangerous offender.

A three-week hearing began Monday in a Lethbridge courtroom to determine whether Trevor Philip Pritchard should be given the designation.

Should the judge agree with the Crown’s recommendation, Pritchard, who was in the prisoner’s box Monday, could serve an indeterminate term of imprisonment without any parole eligibility for seven years.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Goard-Baker had several boxes and binders of information and used her opening statement to say there is a “road map” of evidence and a “significant amount of documents.”

She said Pritchard meets the criteria to be designated as a dangerous offender and that he has shown a pattern of repetitive behaviour persistent aggressive behaviour and a failure to control sexual impulses.

Goard-Baker said the Crown will prove Pritchard is a “significant future threat.” She said she will present a lineup of witnesses, including parole officers and probation officers, as well as records of prior convictions and proceedings, records of treatment and forensics, as well as several victim impact statements.

Defence lawyer Andre Ouellette said he objects to the use of those statements.

His client Pritchard pleaded guilty in 2018 to sexual assault and child luring. He was sentenced last February to six and a half years in a federal penitentiary.

Pritchard has, however, received credit for time spent in custody since Jan. 18, 2017. The credit, based on 1.5 days for every day he spent in custody, reduces his sentence by 37.5 months.

Sentencing on four other charges is also pending the outcome of the dangerous-offender hearing and completion of a psychiatric assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary. The resulting report will provide the basis for a decision whether Pritchard should be deemed a dangerous offender.

The hearing in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench is scheduled to run all this week, then again from March 23 to April 3.

With files from Delon Shurtz

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