Halifax dangerous offender hearing ends without defence calling evidence

·1 min read
Sem Paul Obed has faced a dangerous offender hearing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. (Halifax Regional Police - image credit)
Sem Paul Obed has faced a dangerous offender hearing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. (Halifax Regional Police - image credit)

Sem Paul Obed has opted to call no evidence in his own defence, bringing his dangerous offender hearing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax to an abrupt and early end.

This week had been set aside to hear defence evidence. But Obed's lawyer, Brad Sarson, informed the court Tuesday morning that wouldn't be happening. The Crown and defence will now submit written briefs before returning to court in May to make final arguments.

Obed admitted to committing a violent sexual assault against a woman in Halifax in June 2018.

He has been convicted of more than 30 prior offences, many of them violent. Most were committed in Newfoundland and Labrador. Obed is from Hopedale in eastern Labrador.

Evidence presented earlier at the hearing has described Obed's difficult childhood and his often violent thoughts about women.

He told the forensic psychiatrist who assessed him for the court that many of his offences occurred when he abused alcohol. But Dr. Grainne Neilson noted that he also committed offences when he was sober, which increased his risk of reoffending.

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