Man who kidnapped woman from Halifax airport parkade to be released

Man who kidnapped woman from Halifax airport parkade to be released

A man who violently kidnapped a woman from a Halifax airport parking garage in 2009 is about to be released from prison, even though the Parole Board of Canada rates him a high risk to reoffend.

Ross Nelson Garland was sentenced as a long-term offender in 2013 after pleading guilty to robbery and unlawful confinement.

Garland snatched Dorette Pronk in the parking garage at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Sept. 16, 2009. Pronk had just dropped off a friend when Garland approached her.

He told her he had a gun and forced her to drive him to Truro. They made stops along the way so he could force the woman to withdraw about $5,000 at ATMs.

In an interview in 2009, Pronk told CBC that Garland claimed to have explosives and threatened to blow them up.

She eventually managed to escape and run to a house for help. Garland took her car, then switched to a cab. He was arrested in Moncton, N.B., the next day.

Crime supported addictions

Garland was sentenced to eight years behind bars, but received four years of credit for time he'd already spent in custody. The long-term supervision sentence means he will be monitored for a period in the community following his release.

Despite its misgivings, the parole board has no choice but to release Garland because he will reach the end of his prison sentence early next month.

"Local police consider you to be violent," the parole board said in its decision. "Many of your criminal offences have been committed for financial gain in order to support your substance addictions."

The board notes that two halfway houses have refused to accept Garland as a resident.

The board is ordering Garland to abstain from drugs and alcohol and stay away from Pronk and her family. He is also to undergo psychiatric counselling as directed by his parole officer.

Garland has a lengthy criminal history including fraud, theft and aggravated assault.