Windsor man gets 'dangerous offender' designation
A Windsor man will remain behind bars indefinitely after being declared a dangerous offender Monday.
In a 33-page ruling, Justice Renee Pomerance says Scott McLaughlin is likely to engage in future violence.
It details his criminal record - a record the judge says is “nothing short of breathtaking.”
She also agreed that the 45-year-old McLaughlin was a threat to the life, safety or physical or mental wellbeing of other persons.
McLaughlin has 75 convictions and has spent close to 20 years of his life in prison.
But it was his actions on January 31, 2009 that have led to the status of dangerous offender.
On that day, the OPP chased this minivan for more than half an hour before arresting the driver.
McLaughlin was later charged with dangerous driving.
The investigation would later reveal that a woman in her 70s had been sexually assaulted and was the crime that precipitated the chase.
McLaughlin was charged with dozens of offences, including sexual assault, kidnapping, forcible confinement and threatening death. He pleaded guilty in 2012.
“We had a fellow who has spent most of his life in jail, offered treatment time and time again, and…we have this spectacular escalation in violence,” said Crown attorney Gary Nikota.
The Crown asked for the dangerous offender designation due to the disturbing pattern of violence.
But defence lawyer John Liddle says he tried to humanize McLaughlin for Pomerance to illustrate that some things happened to his client that led him to commit some of these offences.
“The fact he was placed in (segregation) after becoming a crown witness on a homicide,” Liddle said.
He says McLaughlin has, at times, had little to no access to prison programming or psychiatric help.
“Once you get labelled, it has the tendency to drive a person down,” Liddle said.
In 2017, McLaughlin can apply for full parole because seven years will have passed since he was arrested for sexual assault.
But both the crown and his defence lawyer agree it doesn't guarantee his release.
With his criminal record McLaughlin would have to prove that he is drastically changing his life and is getting psychiatric help, as well as working on his substance abuse problems.