Convicted armed robber's statutory release revoked

·2 min read

A man serving time for an armed robbery in Prince George was back behind bars barely a month after he was granted statutory release.

In September 2018, Wilfred Patrick Prince was sentenced to a further three years four months and 22 days in federal prison for a December 2016 incident in which he pointed a can of bear spray at a woman's face during a holdup of a convenience store.

He and two others made off in a stolen minivan that police tracked down later that night.

According to an April 30 parole board decision, he was granted statutory release in December 2020, having served two-thirds of his sentence, and was moved into a halfway house in an undisclosed community.

But five days later, he tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine. Prince claimed he had used another person's vape pen and thought it contained cannabis.

His case management team opted to maintain his release interventions and Prince was subsequently accepted into a 90-day substance abuse treatment program.

However, in early January, he was back in custody on suspicion of consuming drugs.

He had told staff that he was going to a pharmacy to pick up a subscription for suboxone - used to wean a person off opioids - but went in the opposite direction and, upon return, appeared pale and sweaty. By that time, staff had called the pharmacy and confirmed he had not been there.

Following a hearing, Prince's statutory release was revoked.

"When all relevant information is weighed, the Board finds that your risk while on statutory release escalated and became undue and that the circumstances surrounding suspension were within your control," a parole board panel members said in the decision. "Since your return to the institution, you have not completed interventions to reduce risk and prepare for another release."

With the exception of those serving life or indeterminate sentences, statutory release is mandatory after an inmate has served two-thirds of a sentence. If the release revoked, the inmate must serve a further two-thirds in detention before being eligible for statutory release once again.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen

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