Edmonton

Diagnosed psychopath with history of violence declared a dangerous offender

Tyler Strathdee, 31, has been designated a dangerous offender by an Edmonton judge. He's been given a five year fixed sentence, to be followed by a five-year long term supervision order.

Tyler Strathdee given five-year sentence for sexual assault

Tyler Strathdee, shown here in an undated photo, has been designated a dangerous offender. (YouTube)

Tyler Strathdee has been described as callous, deceptive, manipulative, impulsive and irresponsible. 

He is a diagnosed psychopath who violently sexually assaulted an Edmonton woman in 2015, right after he was granted bail. 

Now Strathdee has a new label: dangerous offender. 

Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Little decided society needs to be protected from Strathdee. But he did not impose an indefinite sentence. 

"The evidence supports a conclusion that with the consequent unlikelihood of ever being released, Mr. Strathdee is likely to deteriorate even further," Little noted in a 20-page written decision.

Instead, the judge sentenced Strathdee to five years in prison, to be followed by a five-year long-term supervision order. 

The five years in jail will be added to another 33-month sentence imposed earlier this month by a different judge in a separate case for convictions on three counts of aggravated assault.

Strathdee is currently serving an eight-year sentence for robbery and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

In July, Strathdee was acquitted on a charge of second-degree murder. The Crown is appealing. 

Little estimated that when all the sentences are added up, Strathdee, 31, will remain either behind bars or under supervision until 2035. 

"I am satisfied that a period of over 15 years of state control over his behaviour will adequately protect the public," Little wrote. 

The sentence is shorter than what was suggested by both the Crown and defence. 

The prosecutor requested an indefinite sentence, but told the judge Strathdee should be given six years in prison if a fixed length of time was imposed for sexual assault. 

Defence lawyer Allan Fay suggested a sentence of four to five years to be followed by a 10-year long-term supervision order. 

'You are someone who doesn't care for a life'

During the dangerous offender hearing, a forensic psychiatrist and forensic psychologist offered their expert opinions about Strathdee. 

After testing, both gave him a scale of 33 out of 40 on the psychopathy scale. 

"The evidence of both experts here, which I accept, is that Mr. Strathdee has a high or very high risk of reoffending, violently and otherwise," the judge wrote. "In part, that is due to his psychopathy, including his inability to feel empathy. In part it is due to his poor, but not non-existent prospects for treatment." 

Strathdee has spent most of his adult life behind bars. He has 38 criminal convictions for crimes that reveal a pattern of steadily escalating violence. 

The judge noted Strathdee has assaulted friends and strangers and has shown no empathy toward his victims. 

"He apparently was not concerned that throwing a piece of lumber at someone's head or hitting another in the head with a rock would have consequences to those people," Little wrote.

"After running up a restaurant bill, he appeared to have no qualms in pulling a pistol as opposed to paying. In the predicate sexual assault, he appeared to have no concern that his victim would be forced to run naked out of her own apartment." 

Strathdee's sexual assault victim called him a monster in her impact statement. 

"You raped and beat me," the woman said. "In my eyes, you are someone who doesn't care for a life. My life."

In his written decision, the judge noted it would take years of institutional programming for Strathdee to lower his risk to the public. 

"If he either does not take that programming or does not take it to heart, he will be back in the system very quickly," Little wrote. 

"If he takes the programming seriously, and if he complies with his conditions for five years, I have a reasonable expectation that he will not revert to his violent past."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janice Johnston

Court and crime reporter

Janice Johnston is an investigative journalist with CBC Edmonton who has covered Alberta courts and crime for more than three decades. She won a national Radio Television Digital News Association award in 2016 for her coverage of the trial of a 13-year-old Alberta boy who was acquitted of killing his abusive father. You can reach her at janice.johnston@cbc.ca.

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