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Chris Ward declared dangerous offender

Thursday October 20, 2005

Christopher Ward, the man convicted of beating Gull Bay’s Lisa Bouchard and leaving her bloodied in her south-side Thunder Bay apartment on Oct. 12, 2002, was declared a dangerous offender in Superior Court, Oct. 14.

October 20, 2005: Volume 32 #21

The 31-year-old’s classification as a dangerous offender means he will be incarcerated in a maximum security prison indefinitely.

“It would be improper and irresponsible to gamble on the safety of this community by presuming that some day Mr. Ward will be able to control his behaviour,” wrote Thunder Bay Superior Court Justice Patrick Smith in his 44-page decision.

“While it is indeed unfortunate that Mr. Ward may spend the remainder of his life incarcerated, the protection of the public is my paramount consideration.” Smith’s decision comes after hearing evidence from victims, a doctor and correctional officials.

More than seven years before the attack on Bouchard, Ward injured and was later convicted for attacking another former girlfriend – Meghan Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick, then 17 years old, was stabbed in the eye and temple with haircutting scissors. That stabbing incident left her blind in one eye.

Ward spent more than five years in prison for the attack on Kirkpatrick. Past convictions on Ward’s criminal record also include assault causing bodily harm, impaired driving, mischief and two counts of failure to comply with an undertaking.

Bouchard presented her victim impact statement in July. In the statement, Bouchard wrote she had been left “scarred for life” by the attack.

In other testimony, Stony Mountain Prison official Jeff McNeil suggested Ward would likely need treatment for anger management, substance abuse and relationship counselling to help his interaction with women. Dr. Scott Woodside, a forensic psychiatrist who performed a risk-assessment on Ward, told court he believes Ward will remain a high risk category to re-offend for the next 10-15 years, particularly with intimate female partners. Woodside recommended Ward be supervised for as long as possible.

After hearing Woodside’s testimony that Ward meets the full criteria for anti-social personality disorder, Smith became convinced Ward cannot be reasonably rehabilitated to the point where he would not be a danger to society.

Ward will be reassessed every seven years from the day he was taken into custody to measure rehabilitation progress. If Ward’s risk to re-offend drops to an acceptable level, he may be released.

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