A man once described as a "cunning, voracious sexual predator" by a judge was sentenced to two years in prison for breaching the conditions of his release while at a halfway house in Saint John last spring.
Christopher Michael Watts, 60, was given credit for time served on remand since last August, and so must still serve 16 and a half months.
In sentencing him, Provincial Court Judge Kelly Winchester said Watts showed "poor compliance with his long-term supervision order" and "appears to have no intention" of taking programs that would help reduce his risk of reoffending.
She said it was clear from the evidence that Watts "prefers young females."
"The evidence suggests that attempts at rehabilitation have been fully pursued, yet they have been futile," said Winchester.
She also noted that Watts has breached the conditions of his release several times.
Watts was put on a long-term supervision order in 2003, when he was sentenced to 12 years for sexual assault, sexual interference and manslaughter in the death of a 13-year-old girl.
As part of that order, Watts wasn't allowed to own, use or possess a computer or any device that would allow access to the internet, and not to be in the presence of any female under the age of 18 unless supervised.
During the trial in February, the court heard that Watts entered a Saint John store on June 2, 2020 to buy a copy of a book he wrote. The book wasn't in stock, so a sales clerk helped him locate it on a computer that linked to the store's national database.
The clerk, whose identity is protected by a court order, said Watts entered his own phone number into the computer. The woman also testified that Watts spent a few minutes talking to a 17-year-old coworker.
Long criminal history
During sentencing, Winchester noted "a lengthy criminal history" that began in 1977.
It's a criminal history that has been widely reported on by the media. In the 1980s, he eluded arrest for various crimes in the Hamilton area by assuming the identity of a dead child with the same year of birth.
In 1989, he was sentenced to four years in prison after he hog-tied and gagged a teenage girl during a three-day cocaine and alcohol binge.
Then, in 2001, during a party at his home on a small private island about 20 minutes east of Kitchener, Ont., he sexually assaulted 13-year-old Amanda Raymond while she was comatose after taking fatal amounts of morphine, oxycodone and amphetamine.
When he was sentenced in 2003, a judge said Watts had preyed "on vulnerable, immature, to some extent drug-dependent girls as young as 13 years of age." He said Watts was "totally defiant, totally without any sense of guilt, totally without any sense of remorse."
In addition to a 12-year-sentence for manslaughter, sexual interference and sexual assault, the judge also imposed a long-term supervision order.
Such orders kick in after a person has been released from prison, and can add up to 10 years of supervision while the person is in the community. Those who violate conditions — even if no criminal activity is involved — can be sent back to prison for 90 days.
Watts served every day of his 12-year sentence, which means that, without the long-term supervision order, he would have walked away from prison without any conditions.
The Parole Board of Canada imposes the conditions for such orders. For Watts, they include requirements:
not to consume, purchase or possess alcohol or illegal drugs.
not to own, use or possess a computer or any device that would allow access to the internet.
not to be in the presence of any female children under the age of 18 unless supervised.
But he has repeatedly violated those conditions and been sent back to prison several times. In one case, he was back behind bars within a week.
Police issued warnings
When he was released from prison in British Columbia in 2017, not a single halfway house in the province would take him. He was deemed too great a risk.
Jamieson Community Correctional Centre, located in a Halifax-area industrial park, finally agreed to take him.
But his arrival triggered a warning from Halifax police to the community. They said he "has been deemed a high risk to reoffend sexually."
"He has exhibited a pattern of providing large quantities of drugs to young girls and engaging in sexual activity with them without regard for their ability to consent," the warning stated.
When he arrived in New Brunswick in August 2019, Saint John police issued a similar warning.