Christopher Edward Newhook — a Nova Scotia man with a pattern of violent assaults on visible minorities — has been declared a dangerous offender to be locked up indefinitely.

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Christopher Edward Newhook at a court appearance last October. (CBC)

Newhook, 41, was handed the special designation Monday in Halifax provincial court.

"His risk is so high right now to cause violence to someone in the community that he can't be let out," Crown attorney Catherine Cogswell told reporters.

Newhook has about 50 criminal convictions and has spent about half his life behind bars. He has had ties with skinheads and has been a member of a white supremacist group.

In Ontario, his crimes include blinding a Vietnamese shopkeeper in one eye, assaulting two black women on a bus, and beating an aboriginal man who asked for a cigarette.

In Halifax, he was convicted of stabbing a man in the forehead over a rent dispute in 2007.

Cogswell applied to have Newhook declared a dangerous offender after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. At a sentencing hearing last fall, she argued that he is a psychopath and a racist who must be locked away indefinitely to protect the public.

Newhook lashed out in court, saying that he wished he could cut Cogswell's head off with a rusty hacksaw, the prosecutor later told CBC.

The defence wanted Newhook declared a long-term offender, which means a set term in prison followed by 10 years of supervision in the community.

Judge Bill Digby said he would issue his reason for the ruling later Monday or on Tuesday.