No prison for B.C. cop killer sentenced for incest
LANGLEY, B.C. - Janet Crockford is certain the decade of near-constant sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her brother -- the same horror already endured by her three older sisters -- would have continued if he hadn't been convicted of killing an RCMP officer in 1974.
But the conviction that brought a sudden stop to more than 20 years of devastating abuse appears to be sparing John Harvey Miller, now 63, from serving time for the incest and indecent assault of his sisters.
Miller was one of the last people to be sentenced to death in Canada when he was convicted of killing the police officer and after the death penalty was abolished, he was given a life sentence.
He served 31 years in prison before being released on day parole and the National Parole Board confirmed Monday that means he's not headed back behind bars.
Because sentences in Canada run concurrently, the five-year sentence for sexual abuse becomes part of Miller's existing life sentence.
Crockford said in an interview that if he does escape another stay in prison, she's prepared to move on with her life.
"It's a very good chance that he will not serve any time," said Crockford, who was still trying to confirm for herself what will happen to her brother.
"There's nothing I can do to change that, but the one thing he can't change is he will always be on the sex-offenders list."
A parole board spokesman said the board was already aware of the incest accusations when Miller's day parole, first granted in 2004, last underwent a routine review.
Crockford has had a lot of time to think about the murder conviction that took Miller away from their home in Katzie No. 2 Reserve in Langley.
Miller was convicted of killing Const. Roger Pierlet in Surrey, B.C., and sentenced to hang.
Crockford is quite certain that if her brother wasn't sent to prison, the abuse would have continued indefinitely.
"I believe I wouldn't be where I am if he was still here," said Crockford.
"It's horrible for me to think that way, because a young man is gone because of my brother. I wouldn't want to put another family first before me."
Crockford said her sisters, who came forward to tell their stories and consented to their names being published, are still dealing with what happened in different ways, some better than others.
For her, she said the anger she once felt has given way to emptiness, but small things still bring her back to the abuse of her childhood.
"It could be a simple thing -- I do not like the smell of Old Spice, because that's what he always wore," she said.
"If anything that comes up that reminds me of that, I can just deal with that one issue and not look at the person who it came from. And we all go through different steps."
"This (coming forward) was one of my steps to healing."
She's also had time to reflect on how the abuse was able to continue for so long, something she sees through the lens of Canada's notorious residential schools, where her parents and grandparents were forced to attend school.
"You're taking a child out of the family, raised by nuns and priests that don't know how to parent," she said.
"They didn't know how to parent, they just knew work, because that's all they did, they had three hours of school work and the rest was manual labour."
Parole board spokesman Patrick Storey said because the board was already aware of the allegations against Miller the last time it reviewed his day parole, the abuse has already been taken into account.
"This was not a surprise, it was not a change in his circumstances, so he had day parole when he went to court (for sentencing) and he still has it today," Storey said in an interview.
"Because he's serving a life sentence already, any sentence he would get would be concurrent to his life sentence."