Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Montreal - Convicted Firebomber Of Skver Yeshiva Poses Problem For Corrections Officers
MONTREAL - A man serving a 7-year prison term for hate crimes, including the firebombing of a Jewish school for children, will remain behind bars for his entire sentence as he continues to pose a serious problem for Correctional Service Canada.
Omar Bulphred, 26, has only four months remaining on the sentence he received in 2009 after he pleaded guilty to uttering threats, setting a fire at the Skver-Toldos Orthodox Jewish Boys School in Outremont, in September 2006, and trying to set fire to propane tanks he placed near the Snowdon YM-YWHA in April 2007.
While investigating the fires, the police found letters in which Bulphred and an accomplice declared jihad and demanded the liberation of their “brothers” – a group of men arrested on terrorism charges in Toronto.
A recent decision made by the Parole Board of Canada indicates Bulphred has made no progress since he was sentenced on Feb. 12, 2009 – when he was left with 40 months left to serve. A written summary of the decision details how Bulphred is believed to suffer from a mental health problem and refused to be evaluated by a psychiatrist in December. He also refused to take part in a recent parole hearing where the parole board decided to maintain his incarceration because it was convinced he would commit a violent crime before the end of his sentence, which expires on June 11.
Bulphred was released to a halfway house on May 3, 2011, after he reached the statutory release date on his sentence. But he was quickly returned to a penitentiary after he threatened the life of a fellow resident of the halfway house. Bulphred chased the man with a knife and warned he knew how to stab a person in a way that would cause them to lose blood quickly.
His statutory release was officially revoked in October during a hearing Bulphred decided not to take part in at the very last minute.
Most recently, his case-management team, the people who try to prepare an inmate for a release, advised the parole board that Bulphred made vindictive comments towards those who have worked on his file. According to the summary, Bulphred also informed a parole officer that he had “asked a private investigator to clarify a situation and indicated members of (CSC) personnel might have been followed (outside of work). (Bulphred) added that if they have done nothing wrong, there will be no problems.”
His case-management team interpreted what Bulphred said to be indirect subtle threats and that he has taken steps to “obtain information on the private lives of certain CSC employees.”
A psychologist and psychiatrist who evaluated Bulphred, in July 2010 and October 2011 respectively, found he appears to have a personality disorder. He refused to be evaluated again in December. A psychiatrist who was asked to review his file instead concluded he represents a very high risk of reoffending considering his violent past, possible mental health problem and the recent change in his behaviour and attitude. She recommended Bulphred be evaluated immediately. Based on that recommendation, Bulphred was transferred last month to a location that was redacted from the summary. Since then he has “according to professionals, demonstrated signs of distress and a more and more significant disorganization.”
In some cases where an inmate is believed to represent a danger to public safety as he nears the end of his sentence Correctional Service Canada will share information with the police. Following CSC’s assessment, the police can request from a court, that a peace bond be imposed on the inmate. Such bonds, usually used in cases involving repeat sex offenders, can require that a person just released from custody follow a series of conditions or be returned behind bars. CSC spokesperson Serge Abergel said he would not disclose whether such a bond would be sought it Bulphred’s case. But he noted that CSC waits until an inmate has three months to serve before proceeding with such a request.