Sex predator-psychopath free again, charge recommended

Don GazleyThe parole board has recommended the laying of a criminal charge against a serial sex offender living in Vancouver because he breached conditions designed to protect the community. The board also imposed new conditions on him as it struggles to control the psychopath with a 30-year record of crimes including sexual assault and accessory to murder. Donald Gazley (inset), who is living at a halfway house in Vancouver, already is subject to an onerous 10-year supervision order, a rarely used form of close observation imposed on the most dangerous criminals. Gazley, 56, was diagnosed in prison as a “classic psychopath” and is considered a high risk to commit new sex offences. His last federal penitentiary sentence expired in December 2015 and he was released to a halfway house. His 10-year supervision period began at that time. In the roughly 13 months that he has been free from prison, Gazley has been repeatedly caught engaging in worrisome behaviour that appears designed to test the boundaries of his legal leash and put him in a position to procure new victims.

In this most recent decision, November 4, 2016, the Parole Board of Canada concluded that Gazley’s recent conduct constitutes a breach of the conditions of his supervision order and he should be charged with a criminal offence. A conviction could put him back in penitentiary for two years. It’s unclear if he will be charged. The final decision rests with Crown prosecutors. Spokesmen for the Parole Board of Canada, which makes decisions in Gazley’s case, the Correctional Service, which supervises him in the community, and Vancouver Police, could not tell Cancrime if a charge has been laid or will be laid. It appears that Gazley is again free from custody.

The latest parole decision came after Gazley was arrested August 29, 2016 and his release was suspended. It was the second such suspension (read about his previous suspension) since he was released from prison in December 2015.

The parole board notes, in this latest decision, that, despite 10 supervision conditions and the requirement that Gazley live at a halfway house, he engaged in behaviour that substantially elevated his risk of reoffending.

“The Board is satisfied that no appropriate program of supervision can be established that would adequately protect society from your risk of reoffending,” the decision states.

In an attempt to rein in Gazley, the parole board imposed two new conditions to his supervision order: he is forbidden from owning or possessing a computer or any other device that permits him access to the Internet, including a cellphone, unless approved by his parole supervisor and, he is not permitted to access the Internet without the direct supervision of an approved adult.

There are now 12 conditions on Gazley’s long term supervision order, up from seven when he was first freed in 2015. 

A host of troubling information about his recent activities is documented in the latest parole record:

• Gazley was seen by police meeting women at a coffee shop without reporting the meetings to his parole supervisor, as required

• he was providing legal representation to another inmate to obtain identity documents from another country, without the knowledge of his supervisors

• his cellphone was under another offender’s account

• he had established a web-based business under a different name and it was registered to another federal offender with whom he was forbidden to have contact. The business allowed people to contact him for editing work and falsely indicated he had worked with students, the federal government and non-profit organizations. 

• he had borrowed a camera from another halfway house resident to take pictures at Stanley Park

• he had communicated with a woman by email in order to obtain personal information.

Gazley is subject to onerous requirements that forbid him from initiating any friendships or relationships with women without informing his parole supervisor. He’s also barred from going near any places, such as parks, swimming pools, schools and recreational areas, where children would congregate.

Gazley’s criminal record stretches back to 1977 and includes sex crimes against children as young as 11, including girls and boys. He also has committed sex crimes against vulnerable adults.

Gazley is a chronic liar and manipulator. He confessed, during his testimony during a murder trial in Ontario in 2002, to lying “almost … all the time” when talking to police about the murder, before striking a deal for a lenient sentence in exchange for his testimony against the killer. (Learn more about Gazley’s past and psychopaths in this story and podcast).

Gazley has continued to reoffend despite going through many treatment programs during his multiple terms in prison and jail. Treatments given to sexual psychopaths “have shown little or no reduction in recidivism rates,” according to research by forensic psychologist Stephen Porter, an expert on psychopaths. His research shows that Gazley fits into a category of criminals who “can be expected to offend early, persistently, and often violently across the lifespan.”

Despite the threat Gazley poses and his resistance to treatment, top legal authorities in Ontario, where he was last prosecuted, chose not to seek to have him declared a dangerous offender. This designation could have kept him behind bars forever. Gazley was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2008 after pleading guilty in an Ottawa court to attempting to lure a 14-year-old girl into sex acts.

In 2000, Gazley was sentenced to the equivalent of 16 months in custody after he pleaded guilty to four sexual assaults on girls aged 11 to 14 in Kingston, Ontario, including a learning disabled girl he met at his son’s school. That year, he also pleaded guilty to accessory to murder and was handed a lenient 11-month sentence, in exchange for his testimony against the killer.

Gazley was convicted of sexual assault in 1985 for an attack on a 20-year-old woman with a developmental handicap. Gazley was a social worker at the group home where she lived.


The written record of the November 4, 2016 parole decision:




» Research on sexual psychopaths

» All Cancrime coverage of Gazley



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