Parole granted for man who dragged gas jockey to death
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:30PM PDT
He used drugs and alcohol while in prison, is mentally unstable and has a violent temper, but Canada's Parole Board is giving the man who dragged a Maple Ridge, B.C., gas attendant to his death a second chance at parole.
Darnell Pratt was given statutory release in June, only to have his freedom revoked 48 hours later when he failed to show up for curfew.
A parole board has placed more than a dozen conditions on Pratt's second release, including that he get psychological counselling to address his mental health issues.
"Your institutional behaviour has been very poor," the Parole Board release documents say. "You have used drugs, incurred several institutional charges and are described as periodically unco-operative with your case management team."
Pratt, now 22, was convicted in 2005 and given a six-year sentence for manslaughter for dragging Grant De Patie several kilometres under a stolen car in a so-called gas-and-dash.
While in prison, Pratt fought with prisoners and verbally abused staff, Parole Board documents say. Even before he was convicted he assaulted another inmate who needed stitches on his face and chin.
Because of his violent behaviour, Pratt was transferred to another medium-security prison.
Just before he was released in June, the board imposed an additional special condition that he not contact his victim's family.
The De Patie family was instrumental in convincing the government to pass a law forcing drivers to pay for their gas before it was pumped.
The Parole Board noted that Pratt, who was 16 at the time of De Patie's death, had a very unstable upbringing and was exposed to parental violence and drug abuse.
Pratt's violent record and his mental illness mean he has the potential to reoffend, board members said.
Among his conditions for release are mandatory psychological counselling, living in a half-way home with no overnight privileges and staying away from alcohol and drugs.