Accused killer was deemed high-risk but not electronically monitored
The National Parole Board determined the convicted rapist accused of killing a 17-year-old Surrey student last week was a high risk to reoffend because of intense aggression and prison violence, according to documents obtained by CTV News.
Though Raymond Caissie did attempt prison programs, they failed to make an impact on his history marred with drug use, fights with inmates, and even a plot to take money in exchange for assaulting a prison guard, the documents say.
"A major risk factor for you is your tendency to ruminate over perceived slights and fantasize about taking revenge," the board wrote in 2013. "If released you are likely to commit an offence causing serious harm to another person.
Caissie has now been charged in the murder of Serena Vermeersch, a 17-year-old student who was last seen boarding a bus on Sept. 15. Her body was found by railway tracks off 66th Avenue in Newton.
The Parole Board held that Caissie was dangerous enough to be held until the end of his 22-year sentence -- the maximum length he could be held.
But upon his release Crown prosecutors didn’t ask for the maximum measures to keep tabs on him through his section 810 order, which provides conditions that some offenders must abide by.
Crown spokesperson Neil MacKenzie confirmed that government lawyers didn’t ask for electronic monitoring or a curfew.
Criminologist Rob Gordon said that had an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet been used, it would have taken fewer resources for police to keep track of his movements through the Whalley neighbourhood of Surrey.
“That would have been made much easier if the 810 order had electronic monitoring in it,” he said.
Without an ankle bracelet, police would have to follow Caissie in person, which is difficult to keep up, Gordon said.
CTV News reported on Monday that neighbours of Caissie saw him high and doing drugs — one of the things that prison psychologists warned could be a trigger for Caissie losing “total control.”
The RCMP said they had not observed any breaches, including drug use, around the time that Serena Vermeersch went missing.
B.C.’s Justice Minister Suzanne Anton called her federal counterpart Tuesday night to discuss measures that could be employed to keep offenders like Caissie in jail.
Right now, Crown can apply for a dangerous offender designation at sentencing, which can result in an indefinite sentence. That wasn’t done in the Caissie case, meaning the parole board had no choice but to release him.
Canadian Justice Minister Peter Mackay told reporters in Ottawa that he wanted to see further measures to protect the public.
“The most heinous convicted offenders, the Olsons and the Bernardos, would never see the light of day,” he said.
The National Parole Board documented a history of prison violence by Caissie, including being given segregation for aggressive behaviour in 2009. In 2010, Caissie challenged a corrections staff to a fight, and a month later he was found with joints, a homemade knife, and heroin.
In 2012, he threatened a guard, and in May of that year he was involved in a plot to “hit” a guard for money, the documents say. Caissie denied he was involved.
Prison reports said that Caissie would do “whatever it took” when confronted with stress — with the outside world being described as a major stress for someone with no marketable skills and no family support.
The Board said that Caissie had barely spent two years outside a prison since he was 15 and was “thoroughly institutionalized.”