The man who murdered three women in Renfrew County on the morning of September 15, 2015 was manipulative.
Convicted twice before of domestic violence, Basil Borutski repeatedly dodged a court order to participate in the Partner Assault Response (PAR) program, arguing with his probation officer that he had no transportation or that he suffered from anxiety.
Borutski also apparently avoided revealing vital information to his probation officer, an inquiry into the three deaths heard Wednesday in Pembroke.
The parole officer’s case notes made no reference to Carol Culleton, the first victim in his murderous rage. After Culleton was killed, Borutski drove to Wilno and shot and killed Anastasia Kuzyk before driving to Foymount Road, where he shot and killed Nathalie Warmerdam.
Borutski had been convicted of domestic violence against Kuzyk and Warmerdam and was known to the police and other justice system officials in both cases. He also had a history of failing to comply with court orders. But Culleton wasn’t on their radar as being in danger.
Borutski was found to be at high risk of reoffending in the fall of 2013. When he was released from prison in December 2014 following his conviction for a brutal assault on Kuzyk, Borutski had one of the highest recidivism scores for domestic violence.
Questions were raised on Wednesday about how probation officers knew they had reached the right “collateral contacts” – people who know an offender – to ensure the offender doesn’t hurt more women.
Parole officers can contact anyone they believe will be helpful in ensuring an offender is meeting conditions, from ex-partners to an owner, said Jamie Pearson, East Parole and Parole Quality Assurance Manager. of Ontario to the survey.
“We are always concerned that they are not telling the truth,” he said in response to questions.
If his parole officer knew that an offender with Borutski’s history of violence against women was spending time at Culleton’s home, the officer would have reason to contact Culleton, said Pearson, who was a parole officer for 11 years. .
Failure to attend the PAR program put Borutski in violation of court-ordered conditions. In 2015, a parole officer had five working days after confirming a violation to investigate and decide what action to take. When a domestic violence abuser is deemed high risk, that process is accelerated and the public safety of victims is taken into consideration, Pearson said.
A parole officer’s actions regarding a violation of conditions can range from documenting it in case notes to asking the Crown to consider an indictment, he said. The idea is to use a less intensive method that does not expose the public to danger and increases the chance that the offender will reoffend.
In 2012, Borutski was offered a “variation” to attend PAR after arguing that the course was held in Eganville and that he had been ordered by the court to step aside because Warmerdam worked in an office there. He did not accept the program.
It is important that high-risk offenders attend the PAR program as soon as possible after release from prison, according to the inquiry.
When Borutski was ordered again to take over the program after his release from prison in late December 2014, he said he had no transportation, but that would change. This could be considered a “reasonable excuse” in a rural area like Renfrew County, where there are considerable distances between communities but no public transport, Pearson told the inquiry.
Borutski continued to evade the court order. He told his parole officer that he was confused as to whether he should call PAR or whether the facilitator would call him. He also said he suffered from anxiety and felt he would not benefit from the program. In April 2015, he suggested that it would be better if he did the show in Belleville or Bancroft.
In recent years, there has been an increase in collaboration and communications between probation officers, police and other agencies, Pearson told the inquiry, but he also pointed out that there are privacy issues in some cases.
The Attorney General’s Office has made some changes to the parole system, including incorporating a court liaison officer to act as “eyes and ears” for the parole service, Pearson said. Over the past two years, the province has hired 25 more frontline workers to manage the release of high-risk offenders, including domestic violence offenders, as well as 25 new probation officers.
There have also been a number of policy revisions, including guidance that parole officers can contact offenders’ current partners to inform them of past convictions. Violation of the execution of the sentence for those convicted of domestic violence was also accelerated. Those decisions must now be made in one day, Pearson said.
The inquiry, which began on June 6, was scheduled to last three weeks, with recommendations to be delivered on Friday. However, it is late and there is a possibility that the recommendations will not be released until Tuesday.