Judge orders dangerous offender assessment of inmate involved in Halifax jail assault

A file photo of the Burnside jail. File/Global News

A judge has ordered a 60-day dangerous offender risk assessment for a man alleged to have been the ringleader in a brutal attack on a fellow inmate at a Halifax-area jail in December 2019.

In a written copy of an oral decision issued Wednesday, Justice Jamie Campbell noted that 39-year-old Brian James Marriott has a “criminal record for violence” dating back at least 20 years.

Marriott pleaded guilty in February to aggravated assault in connection with the 2019 beating and stabbing of inmate Stephen Anderson at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, in Dartmouth, N.S.

He is still awaiting sentencing.

“Mr. Marriott’s criminal record is a fact,” Campbell said. “It is not disputed. What it shows is a person who from the age of 13 has been in regular contact with the criminal justice system and who, from the age of 20, has essentially been incarcerated in various federal penitentiaries.”

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The Crown has alleged that Marriott set off the violence, which involved 14 other inmates at the jail, and prosecutors applied to have him declared a dangerous offender on April 25.

Campbell said Marriott has been involved with several “serious and violent offences.”

“He was convicted of manslaughter,” the judge said. “Then, while in prison, he has had three convictions for assault, whether involving a weapon or aggravated assault. He had other convictions which can be argued to be evidence of his unwillingness or inability to comply with legal restraints.”

Campbell said Marriott has not participated in any rehabilitation programs while incarcerated, which the judge said permits the belief “based on reasonable grounds” that he might be labelled a dangerous or long-term offender.

The jail attack saw Anderson hit, kicked and stabbed to the point he had to be hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

In earlier decisions, Campbell found 12 inmates guilty of aggravated assault and one of obstructing correctional officers, saying there was substantial evidence the attack was planned by prisoners.

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In December, inmate Omar McIntosh, who held a cell door closed during the attack, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison, while inmate Colin Ladelpha, who was in the cell during the attack, received a six-year sentence.

In a separate decision also issued Wednesday, Campbell sentenced Austin Mitton, 27, to six years for his role in the jail assault.

The judge noted that Mitton had already been serving a sentence of more than six years imposed in November 2020 for a robbery and other offences that occurred in July 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2022.

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