Gordon Frank Nickerson to be locked up indefinitely

A man who admitted to abducting a woman and her daughter from their Wedgeport, N.S., home in 2012 has been declared a dangerous offender.

Yarmouth County man admitted to kidnapping, sexually assaulting woman and her daughter

Gordon Nickerson being led out of Kentville provincial court in 2012. (CBC)

A man who admitted to abducting a woman and her daughter from their Wedgeport, N.S., home in 2012 has been declared a dangerous offender.

As a result of the dangerous offender designation, Nickerson will be locked up indefinitely. 

Gordon Frank Nickerson, who is from Yarmouth County and in his mid-30s, admitted to kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman and her mother during a terrifying ride from Wedgeport to New Minas. The women managed to escape after they seized a chance to attack Nickerson.

In 2012 he pleaded guilty to all 12 charges against him.

The Crown requested a dangerous offender assessment against Nickerson.

"I think it's more than a reasonable likelihood that he'll reoffend and I don't know that in an institution he'll be able to make sufficient progress to be released in the community, ever. Because he is dangerous, there's no question about that," said Crown prosecutor Bob Morrison.

Last October, the forensic psychiatrist who conducted the dangerous offender assessment testified at the hearing.

Dr. Scott Theriault said during his testimony that Nickerson is at a moderate to high risk to reoffend sexually.

"He's not the highest risk to reoffend, but nor is he the lowest risk," Theriault said outside court. "If you think about it on a curve, he's at the higher end of the curve."

Theriault said Nickerson's case is unusual, because he appears to be motivated by a desire to hurt and humiliate his victims after an intimate relationship collapses.

"Revenge. Retribution. Retaliation. All of those things would fit," said Theriault.

The kidnapping and rapes were very similar to crimes for which Nickerson was convicted in British Columbia in 2006.

"It was just the eerie similarity between the two offences and the extreme violence that he employed over an extended period of time," said Morrison. "We're talking hours and hours."

History of sexual assault

In 2005, when Nickerson was living in British Columbia, he kidnapped a former girlfriend at gunpoint after their relationship ended.

He tried to kidnap her mother as well, but the older woman managed to escape. Nickerson sexually assaulted his victim in that case and was sentenced to five years.

Theriault said these factors make Nickerson's case more complicated than those of other sex offenders.

"If you think about somebody that exposes themselves repetitively, that's a fairly typical example of somebody who's driven largely by their sexual desire," Theriault said.

"His seems to be more complicated in that it's tied up in the context of an intimate relationship that goes bad and then that manifests itself in certain ways, one of which is through sexual violence."

Nickerson's lawyer argued the sentence should not be indefinite.

"Mr. Nickerson has spent time in prison, so he understands the indefinite determination can often times be to lock him up and throw away the key," said Ken Greer. "But there are individuals who are working within the system now who have had good results who are dangerous offenders with indefinite sentences.”