Man who beat, raped, and lit Marlene Bird on fire has no pattern of brutality: doctor

The Canadian Press
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. _ A psychologist says a man who beat, raped and then set a woman on fire is not necessarily at high risk to reoffend.

Dr. Terry Nicholaichuk testified Monday at a hearing to determine whether Leslie Ivan Roderick Black should be declared a dangerous offender.

Black pleaded guilty to attempted murder of Marlene Bird, who was burned so badly that doctors had to amputate both her legs after the June 2014 attack in Prince Albert, Sask.

If Black is designated a dangerous offender, he will face an indeterminate prison sentence.

Nicholaichuk, who was testifying for the defence, described Black as cognitively compromised, but not emotionless or sociopathic.

He says Black requires intensive, long-term therapy, but does not have an ongoing “pattern of brutality” which makes an offender a high risk to the public.

Nicholaichuk noted there is no peer-reviewed evidence to suggest a relationship between the level of harm done to a victim and rates of reoffending, but did say those who have shown an pattern of violence are highly likely to commit more violent crimes.

“Mr. Black has many serious challenges to overcome if he is to survive in the community,” Nicholaichuk said. “He wants to be more successful but frankly he doesn’t have the skills.”

If Black remains in prison, Nicholaichuk said, his treatment options will be severely limited. Nicholaichuk recommended Black serve his sentence in a British Columbia institution where he will be distanced from media coverage and have access to Indigenous cultural programming.

A psychiatrist testified last week that officials can’t presume to understand Black and what he’s capable of given what he did to Bird even though he had no history of violence.

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2 thoughts on “Man who beat, raped, and lit Marlene Bird on fire has no pattern of brutality: doctor

  1. He is very dangerous. He lit a woman on fire, and the most dangerous thing about him is his first one offence was the most brutal offence you can think of! He is guilty, he is responsible for what he’s done, nothing can change that fact, and he should be dealt with accordingly! To let this man have any kind of privilege in all of this is a huge lack of respect and compassion for the family of the victim.

  2. Is the doctor’s testimony and the fact that there are no apparent previous crimes the only criteria to affect the outcome of this case? His previous behaviour has nothing to do with the savage act he committed in present time. Once a person crosses the line, that line is easier to cross. This crime will become his history. He is in fact more than likely to re-offend. Justice truly is blind. We have lost our gift of discernment and critical thinking and become enured to a culture of sociopathy.

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