A Nova Scotia man accused of murdering a prostitute was described as an "articulate and respectful" man when he appeared before a judge in 2007, court documents show.

Steven Laffin, 36, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in the death of Nadine Taylor, a sex-trade worker.

He has also been charged with abduction, forcible confinement, aggravated sexual assault and uttering death threats in a separate case involving an ex-prostitute.

In 2006, Laffin pleaded guilty to attempted robbery after he went into a convenience store in Halifax with a knife and demanded money. He was given a two-year conditional sentence.

The next year, when Laffin wanted to have the terms of his house arrest amended, he appeared before Judge Jamie Campbell in Halifax provincial court.

In court documents, Campbell wrote that Laffin did not match the stereotypical image of a robber and said he had a "dignified carriage" and wore "carefully chosen business suits."

"At 32 years old he appears in every outward respect to be a person who should be looking forward to a bright future," Campbell wrote.

According to the documents, Laffin lost his job on a cruise ship, only to come home and discover that his wife had emptied the family bank account.

"He was left with no marriage, no money and no job," the judge wrote.

After he received the conditional sentence, Laffin "made a concerted effort to become reintegrated into the community" and began working at a Tim Hortons.

"He works more than regular hours. He has been promoted to a supervisory position. He has money saved and is paying off his debts. Apparently he has not lost his work ethic. He could have taken a very different approach," Campbell wrote in 2007.

"He has apparently, through work and dedication, committed himself to reestablishing his life. It is in society's best interest that he be encouraged in that endeavour."

The judge granted Laffin the desired amendments to his conditional sentence.