October 23rd, 2020

Parole officer testifies at Pritchard hearing


By Shurtz, Delon on February 5, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

It didn’t take Matt Kennedy long to determine convicted sex offender Trevor Philip Pritchard had no motivation to change and would be a high risk to re-offend once he was released from prison.

The former parole officer at Bowden Institution testified Tuesday in Pritchard’s dangerous offender hearing, and said Pritchard was more motivated to play video games than to participate in programs aimed at helping sex offenders. After working with Pritchard for six weeks between December 2010 and January 2011, Kennedy recommended Pritchard be removed from a high-intensity sex offender program at Bowden Institution and be transferred to a prison in Saskatchewan.

He also recommended Pritchard be accepted into another program that addressed offenders’ mental-health issues, but authorities rejected the application based on his poor attitude.

Pritchard, who has convictions for sexually assaulting underage girls in 2004, 2009 and 2010, pleaded guilty in 2018 to sexual assault and child luring in relation to one girl. He was sentenced last February to six and a half years in a federal penitentiary.

Court was told Pritchard carefully planned the assault and, using Facebook, carefully groomed the girl to trust him over several months before he finally took her to his house – under the pretense of giving her a job – and forced her into various sex acts. He then drove her home and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

He was also found guilty in January 2019 following a trial on charges of sexual assault, luring and possession of child pornography in relation to other girls. However, sentencing on those charges has been adjourned until after the dangerous-offender hearing.

The three-week hearing began Monday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench to determine whether Pritchard should be designated a dangerous offender, which would result an indeterminate term of imprisonment without parole eligibility for seven years.

Crown Prosecutor Sarah Goard-Baker said Monday Pritchard has shown a pattern of repetitive behaviour persistent aggressive behaviour and a failure to control sexual impulses. She said the Crown will prove Pritchard is a “significant future threat.”

During Tuesday’s dangerous-offender hearing, Kennedy said he recommended Pritchard be transferred to another facility after he was accused of breaching the confidentiality of other inmates participating in the sex-offender program, which put the safety of those inmates at risk. One of Pritchard’s former cellmates asked authorities to search Pritchard’s cell after his journal went missing, and although Pritchard denied stealing it, it was found in a drawer in his cell. Pritchard claimed the former cellmate must have forgotten it.

“I believed he was being untruthful and his version of events didn’t seem to make sense,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy testified he recommended Pritchard be transferred because of the breach of confidentiality and because he didn’t show any change since his initial assessments after arriving at Bowden Institute, and he didn’t show any desire to reduce his high risk of re-offending.

The dangerous offender hearing is scheduled to run all this week, and from March 23 to April 3.

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