A dangerous offender who is considered a murder suspect in the cases of a number of missing women in Nova Scotia has had his application for day parole turned down.

According to a May 30 decision by the Parole Board of Canada, Andrew Paul Johnson poses a high risk for committing sexually violent offences.

Johnson, who is from Halifax, was arrested in Nanaimo, B.C., in October 1997. Police were looking for him after he tried to pick up 12-year-old girls while posing as a police officer. When police caught him, he had a 20-year-old mentally disabled woman locked in his car.

Police also found a large meat cleaver, lubricant, a mask, packing tape and pornographic material in the vehicle.

He was later convicted of attempted kidnapping in relation to the girls, and unlawful confinement in relation to the woman. The parole board said Johnson had prior convictions for sexually assaulting an intimate partner and committing an indecent act. 

Day parole not manageable at present

Johnson was ultimately declared a dangerous offender, which means he must remain in prison until it's determined he no longer poses a risk.

The parole board document said Johnson is also a suspect in the disappearance of several Nova Scotia women, but it offers no other details of those cases.

Johnson's behaviour behind bars has been generally appropriate, the parole board said, adding that he works as a caregiver to another inmate.

While Johnson has taken some responsibility for his offences, the board decision said he displays some elements of minimization, noting his insistence that the items found in his vehicle in 1997 weren't for criminal intentions.

The parole board said day parole is not a manageable option for Johnson at this time. It believes that eventually a gradual release option, beginning with escorted temporary absences, would be more appropriate and would provide Johnson with "an opportunity to develop and apply the skills you have learned in a community setting and in a safe and monitored manner."

With files from the Canadian Press