'Murderer,' 'bank robber' says he’s not a dangerous offender

A Nova Scotia man who's spent almost all of his adult life behind bars is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his years there.

Douglas Bowen spent 90% of his adult life in prison

A Nova Scotia man who has spent almost all of his adult years behind bars is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life there.

Crown attorneys want Douglas Bowen declared a dangerous offender. They made their case to a judge on Tuesday.

Bowen has been convicted on almost 100 offences, including 47 bank robberies, manslaughter and a random attack on a young mother five years ago in Halifax.

“He pushed his way into the apartment, shut the door and began assaulting her and her one year child was present and terribly upset as was she,” said Prosecutor Christine Driscoll

While out on bail, Bowen told CBC it was a case of mistaken identity.

“I'm a murderer, I’m a bank robber, but I don’t know such things as rape. Raping women I know not such things. Muslims know not such things,” he said.

The prosecution's medical evidence shows Bowen is a moderate to high risk to reoffend violently and sexually.

That's why Driscoll wants him locked up indefinitely.

“We're suggesting he's not someone we can assume that risk in the community and in order to protect the public he should be declared a dangerous offender,” she said.

Living behind bars

The judge will have to take into account Bowen's mental health.  He said he has bipolar disorder, which was undiagnosed for years.

On Tuesday, Bowen told the court his treatment in jail parallels the case of the New Brunswick woman who took her own life while in custody.

“The Correctional Service must admit and take responsibility as they are doing now with the Ashley Smith case.  For instead of flying me around this country from prison to prison, segregation unit to segregation unit, all they had to do was diagnose me,” he said.

The defence said 90 per cent of Bowen's adult life has been behind bars.

Bowen's lawyer says he should be imprisoned for five to seven years and then monitored for 10.

The judge's sentence will be handed down on Dec. 20.