Bitternose warned about dangerous offender application
Crown lawyers gave serious thought to applying for dangerous offender status in 2004 for a man now accused of a violent sexual assault near Banff, but they never pursued it, according to court documents.
Cory Bitternose, 38, was arrested in Canmore, Alta., on Sunday in connection with the kidnapping of two women. Police said one of the women managed to escape, but the other was sexually assaulted twice.
'I would point out to you that I am sure that the Crown gave serious thought to bringing an application to have you declared a dangerous offender.'—Justice Ian McLellan
Art Hanger, the MP for Calgary Northwest, questioned this week why Bitternose was on the street when he had such a violent criminal history.
In 2004, Bitternose pleaded guilty to a string of assaults in Regina. According to transcripts from his sentencing hearing, he beat a man so badly at a party that the victim needed facial surgery.
Bitternose then went to the man's house and raped his girlfriend several times.
Months later, Bitternose offered a ride to a woman walking in a Regina alley. She got into his car, but when she tried to back out of an agreement to trade sex for money, Bitternose kicked, punched and choked her.
Bitternose had been convicted of aggravated assault in Calgary in 1992.
Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ian McLellan warned Bitternose: "I would point out to you that I am sure that the Crown gave serious thought to bringing an application to have you declared a dangerous offender.
"And I would like to point out to you that if you come back before this court for any service, any offences, you will likely face such an application."
Bitternose apologized to victims in court
McLellan sentenced Bitternose to 6.5 years in prison but reduced that to 2.5 years with credit for time served in custody. He allowed the defence's request that Bitternose be enrolled in the violent offender program at a psychiatric centre in Saskatoon.
The judge called Bitternose's assaults "absolutely appalling" and "degrading."
At the sentencing, Bitternose told the court that he had struggled for years to control drug and alcohol addictions, and how he understood the strain his actions had on his estranged wife and children, and on his victims.
"No person … has a right to touch another individual," he said. "I am deeply sorry."
Bitternose went on to say he was making changes with the help of psychiatrists in the remand centre: "I want to change. There's already change. I've already started."