Man who killed his grandmother being released from prison

·2 min read
James Douglas Gloade is escorted from court in Truro, N.S., on Jan. 23, 2009, after receiving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother, Nora Bernard. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)
James Douglas Gloade is escorted from court in Truro, N.S., on Jan. 23, 2009, after receiving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother, Nora Bernard. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A Nova Scotia man who killed his grandmother more than 13 years ago is being released from prison to live at a halfway house.

James Douglas Gloade was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter in the death of 72-year-old Mi'kmaw activist Nora Bernard. Her body was found on Millbrook First Nation in central Nova Scotia in December 2008.

Court heard that Gloade, 38, had consumed prescription drugs and crack on the day he attacked Bernard. He'd asked her for money to buy drugs. She gave him $20 but when he later returned for more money, she refused. That's when, according to the court record, he hit her in the face three or four times and slit her throat with a kitchen knife.

Gloade had been released from prison before, in 2018. But he lasted less than two months before he violated terms of his release and was taken back into custody.

Now he has reached the point of statutory release, where he must be let out of prison. However, in a decision late last month, the Parole Board of Canada ruled Gloade is still too great a risk to be released into the community.

Instead, he will be sent to a halfway house or other facility approved by the board until the expiry of his full sentence.

Difficult childhood

The board noted several complicating factors in Gloade's case, including the fact he started abusing drugs and alcohol at a very early age and has amassed more than 30 convictions for crimes including assault, robbery and uttering threats.

Gloade attended an Indian day school as a child and while he continued to live at home, the board noted the toll such institutions took on their students.

"The Board has considered lack of educational opportunities, unemployment, and the presence of family fragmentation to be linked to the lingering effect of colonialism and the plight of Indigenous peoples over the course of history," the board wrote.

"The Board acknowledges that you continue to suffer through emotional and mental challenges and victimization as a child and you lean towards substance use as a coping mechanism."

While Gloade claims to have the support of family members for his release, the fact he killed his own grandmother makes it more difficult. Police are also opposed to his release, according to the parole board.

The board has imposed an order that he only have contact with some family members with the prior approval of his parole officer. The board has also imposed conditions that Gloade abstain from drugs and alcohol and find a job. He must also undergo any counselling directed by parole officials.

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