Canada’s most infamous serial killer could be free to walk the streets of Toronto once again, according to new reports.
In 1995, Paul Bernardo was issued an indefinite sentence and labelled a dangerous offender after being convicted of raping and murdering 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffey and 15-year-old Kristen French.
But the man responsible for at least 3 murders is now eligible for parole after serving a 22 year sentence. According to CTV News, Bernardo will attend a day-parole hearing in March of 2017 to see if he will be eligible for release.
Tim Danson, the lawyer for both families of the victims says they are “devastated” after hearing the news of Bernardo’s preliminary hearing for day parole.
Danson told CTV News:
“We will be preparing the victim impact statements and participating in the parole hearing. Nevertheless, I am confident that he will not be successful.”
According to Danson, the families “knew this day would come,” but claims “it’s gut-wrenching” nonetheless.
“It’s hard to believe they have to confront this all over again. That they have to disclose, in a public hearing, the most private feelings and emotions, which is very difficult.”
Danson maintains that it’ll be tough for his clients to face the man responsible for such heinous crimes in court, but maintains the victims families’ know they must do it for their daughters.
“I think what overtakes them is to still be there for their daughters, and to make sure that Paul Bernardo doesn’t get out.”
Day parole intends to prepare offenders for full parole or statutory release. Those serving indeterminate sentences may apply for day parole three years before their full parole eligibility date.
Bernardo was eligible for day parole on February 17, 2015 and full parole in 2018, according to Holly Knowles, a spokeswoman for the Parole Board of Canada.
Bernardo was also found guilty for the murder of Tammy Lynn Homolka, the sister of former wife and accomplice, Karla Homolka.
Bernardo scored 35/40 on a Psychopathy Checklist and is considered a dangerous offender.
Feature Image via Jack Chiang/The Canadian Press accessed via the National Post.