An imprisoned career bandit who has amassed nearly 200 criminal convictions, and who shot three policemen in a bloody bank heist in Ontario in 1994 has won a chance at another payday, courtesy of Canada’s top court. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Mitchell (Micky) McArthur (inset), who is serving a life sentence, is entitled to take his argument that he’s been treated cruelly and inhumanely to Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice. McArthur could be in line for a damage award if he can prove that being tossed into solitary confinement for roughly four and a half years was deliberate and malicious or was done negligently. While McArthur has had success in court, he’s not having any luck with the parole board. It turned him down in 2005, (read his parole records after the jump) the last time he asked to get out of prison.
McArthur is as infamous for his arrogance as his violence. When he was convicted of masterminding the 1994 robbery of a bank in Port Perry, Ontario, McArthur smirked and fired imaginary guns at police officers in the courtroom before he was led away. In the October 20 holdup, McArthur shot three Durham police officers. Two were shot in the face. McArthur shot bank manager Alan Knight with a pistol before using an assault rifle to gun down constables Mark McConkey, Warren Ellis and Det. Paul Mooy. A stray bullet wounded realtor Debbie Taylor. All five victims recovered. McArthur was convicted of four counts of attempted murder and a slew of other crimes. After the holdup, he and his accomplice rode on bicycles to the home of a senior couple, Marjorie and Harry Pearce, who were in their 70s. The bandits smashed through a glass door to get into the house. They held Marjorie hostage until her husband, who was out, returned home. They forced him to drive them to a getaway car. Though McArthur was caught and convicted, $50,000 stolen from the bank was never recovered. McArthur’s younger brother Angus was acquitted. The judge said McArthur turned a small community into a war zone. McArthur was handed a 23-year sentence but that was later ratcheted up to life in prison by Ontario’s Court of Appeal. It said the shootings were the product of a “careful plan implemented with deadly detachment and efficiency.”
McArthur wrote an autobiography in 1990, titled I’d Rather be Wanted than Had, the Memoirs of an Unrepentant Bank Robber. He boasted that bank robbing was a business.
Crime has been the only occupation he’s known, beginning with convictions in 1968 when he was 16 years old. He’s committed many armed robberies while he’s been free from prison on early release. He’s engineered several prison releases on his own schedule, staging escapes from Collins Bay Institutution in Ontario, Saskatchewan Penitentiary and maximum-security Millhaven Institution near Kingston, Ontario. After his breakout from Millhaven in 1984, McArthur pulled at least three bank robberies over a span of 14 months before he was recaptured.
He’s never been convicted of killing anyone, but police in Kingston, Ontario, allege he’s a murderer. McArthur was charged with murder after a 24-year-old Kingston man, Tom Gencarelli, disappeared in 1982. His body has never been found, but police say they’re certain he was murdered. The murder charge against McArthur was dropped in 1998 when a key Crown witness died before a trial could be held.
McArthur’s latest legal victory stems from another decision. In 2008, Ontario’s top court unanimously ruled that McArthur didn’t have to go to the Federal Court to argue that he’s been treated cruelly in prison.
After McArthur’s conviction in the Port Perry bank robbery, prosecutors tried to have him declared a dangerous offender, a label that would allow authorities to keep him locked up forever. A judge blocked the effort. McArthur waived his right to a hearing to seek full parole in May 2010. The Parole Board of Canada has scheduled a hearing for May 2012. McArthur has changed his name to Michiel Hollinger.
Below is the written record of a 2005 parole decision:
Below is the written record of a 1996 parole decision made while McArthur was behind bars, awaiting trial for the Port Perry holdup:
Below is the written record of a 1993 decision to grant McArthur day parole to a halfway house in Kingston, Ontario: