CORNER BROOK A man from Lark Harbour described by the Parole Board of Canada as “untreated” for his propensity for violence or his sexual deviance has indicated he wants to return to the community where some of his victims reside.
Timothy Russell Sheppard, now 42, was sentenced to seven years in prison on March 12, 2009 for breaking into a 63-year-old woman’s home and raping her.
He will soon have served enough time in prison to be released, but will be subject to a number of conditions and will be supervised until the full seven years have expired.
The warrant for Sheppard’s seven-year sentence does not expire until March 11, 2016, but his statutory release date — which most inmates are eligible for after serving two-thirds of their sentence — is Nov. 10, 2013. In advance of his statutory release, Sheppard’s case was referred to the Parole Board of Canada by Correctional Services Canada with a recommendation to impose special conditions to protect society and facilitate his reintegration into society.
Sheppard has a long list of convictions for other serious crimes, including sexual interference when he entered a home and unzipped a young girl’s pants in 1998. In 2006, he and an accomplice broke into a man’s home with the intentions of robbing him, but left the man unconscious after assaulting him when he refused to give them money.
Sheppard’s criminal record also includes physical assaults against former girlfriends. According to the Parole Board of Canada, since his current incarceration, other former partners have alleged they were sexually assaulted by Sheppard, although no charges have ever been filed in relation to any of those allegations.
Other women have also come forward to police since Sheppard was last imprisoned, stating he had knocked on their doors at odd hours of the day, but they recognized him and knew his history and never answered their doors.
Sheppard has also exhibited concerning behaviour while incarcerated, according to the parole board.
He has been found in possession of alcohol, has threatened staff and has assaulted inmates on several occasions.
While imprisoned in 2006, Sheppard turned in a knife he said he had because he feared for his own safety. In 2011, he was disciplined for pressuring another inmate for sexual favours. In 2013, he threatened to stab someone if he was forced to leave segregation.
In its decision to impose conditions on Sheppard’s statutory release, the board raised a concern about him wanting to be released back to his hometown of York Harbour.
“(Correctional Services Canada) is concerned about the potential for revictimization, given your impulsivity, lack of insight and tendency to hold grudges,” stated the parole board’s decision sheet.
A psychologist who used a number of tools to assess Sheppard’s risk determined that he is at “the high end of the moderate range” for general and violent recidivism and at “the low end of the high range” to commit another sexual offence. The use of alcohol or drugs could affect those risk levels, the psychologist added.
According to one pre-sentence report prepared for the courts in 1989, it was disclosed that Sheppard sustained a brain injury at birth that left him with intellectual deficits.
The board stated Sheppard is considered to be untreated as a violent and sexual offender because of his refusal to participate in assessments to address these issues and his lack of progress in addressing factors that have led to some of his misbehavior.
The conditions of Sheppard’s release include having no contact with his latest victim or the victim’s family and to reside at either a correctional facility, a community residential facility or a private residence approved by the Correctional Service of Canada.
Sheppard will not be allowed in the presence of any youth under the age of 16, unless accompanied by a responsible adult who is aware of his criminal history and has been approved by his parole supervisor.
He has to report all contact he makes or attempts to make with women and any sexual or non-sexual relationships or friendships he has with women.
Sheppard will be prohibited from consuming any alcohol or drugs, except prescribed or over-the-counter medications. He must also follow any treatment programs for violence or sexual deviance as arranged by his parole supervisor.
By law, most federal inmates are automatically released after serving two-thirds of their sentence if they have not already been released on parole. This is called statutory release.
Statutory release is not the same as parole because the decision for release is not made by the Parole Board of Canada.
Offenders serving life or indeterminate sentences are not eligible for statutory release.
The Correctional Service of Canada may recommend an offender be denied statutory release if they believe the offender is likely to:
— commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person;
— commit a sexual offence involving a child; or
— commit a serious drug offence before the end of the sentence.
In such cases, the Parole Board of Canada may detain that offender until the end of the sentence or add specific conditions to the statutory release plan. Offenders must agree to abide by certain conditions before release is granted. These conditions place restrictions on the offender and assist the parole supervisor to manage the risk posed by an offender who is on conditional release.
Whether on parole or statutory release, offenders are supervised in the community by Correctional Services Canada and will be returned to prison if they are believed to present an undue risk to the public. The Parole Board of Canada has the authority to revoke release if the conditions are breached.
Source: Parole Board of Canada