Svekla a psychopath likely to reoffend, report says
Svekla, 41, was convicted in June 2008 of second-degree murder in the death of sex-trade worker Theresa Innes, 36. He is serving a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 17 years.
He was also found guilty of sexual assault and uttering threats in September 2008 in a case involving another woman and in March, of this year was found guilty of sexual assault and sexual interference on a five-year-old girl in 1995.
A hearing related to the September 2008 conviction is now underway in Edmonton to determine whether Svekla should be designated a dangerous offender, which would mean he would remain in prison indefinitely.
The report was prepared by Dr. Liam Ennis, a forensic psychologist, and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Alberto Choy.
Svekla refused to be interviewed for the assessment, because he is appealing his murder conviction. But the two doctors were able to speak to people who know Svekla, review his criminal history and look at past interviews he did with others.
Based on that material, the experts came to a conclusion after scoring him using a number of tests.
"It is the psychologist's carefully considered opinion that Thomas Svekla is a highly psychopathic, violent offender who represents a high probability of committing further acts of violence in the future," Ennis writes in the report, noting that Svekla scored high on a test to determine his degree of psychopathy.
"Psychopathic offenders are, by nature, inclined to gratify themselves at the expense of others and are not inhibited by empathy, forethought or restraint, and Mr. Svekla embodies this characterization."
Ennis also noted that Svekla has a history of sexually assaulting women and children.
Ennis testified about his report at Svekla's hearing on Monday. The judge is expected to hear more medical evidence on Tuesday.
With files from Janice Johnston