Offender loses bid to sue parole officer - Metro US

Offender loses bid to sue parole officer

A federal offender whose parole was suspended after he was charged with a crime he didn’t commit has lost his bid to sue.

Bryston David Turner complained that in March 2003, his parole officer essentially made him a suspect in a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Halifax mall parking lots.

At the time, Turner was on parole for drug charges.

Halifax Regional Police were looking for a suspect who was approaching women in mall parking lots, claiming their cars needed fixing, then sexually assaulting and robbing them.

The parole officer mentioned Turner because of his mechanical skills, and told the police she thought Turner had taken money for a car repair he didn’t complete. It turned out that wasn’t accurate. The parole officer also didn’t tell the police Turner didn’t look like the suspect.

Turner was charged on March 14, 2003, with robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping. His parole was suspended. When a senior parole officer investigated his case, though, he determined Turner had done the mechanical work, and reported that to police.

The charges were withdrawn on April 11. Turner’s parole was reinstated.

Lawyer Mark Knox argued that by passing along inaccurate information, Turner’s parole officer didn’t do her job impartially and diligently, as she was required to do.

He argued the Correctional Service of Canada owed Turner a duty of care.

But Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Arthur Pickup ruled its only duty is to protect the public, and it doesn’t have a duty to protect parolees from being falsely accused of crimes.

“There is potential for conflict should such a duty be found,” Pickup wrote in his decision, released Wednesday.

Turner must now pay Ottawa $750 in costs.

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