Hamilton

Families of Paul Bernardo's victims file for access to records of parole hearing

The French and Mahaffy families argue the public deserves full transparency related to the Paul Bernardo case and says without it, there's a chance he could end up back in the public.

'Bernardo surrendered his privacy rights when he chose to murder two teenage girls and raped so many others'

Paul Bernardo is serving a life sentence for the brutal kidnappings, rapes and first-degree murders of two teenaged girls in the early 1990s and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

Two families whose teenaged daughters died at the hands of Paul Bernardo are pushing for access to Bernardo's entire file with the Parole Board of Canada out of fear the convicted killer and rapist could be released into the public without supervision.

The families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy filed the federal court documents on April 14.

Their longtime lawyer, Tim Danson, wrote that the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) should release Bernardo's file and any information involved in his failed attempt to get parole in 2018.

Danson argued a future hearing could see Bernardo released if the courts don't have all the facts.

The documents would include transcripts, audio and video recordings of the parole hearing and any materials in the public record at Bernardo's trial and sentencing.

The application also asserts the public's right to know all facts about the case overshadow Bernardo's rights to privacy. 

Danson wrote the parole board "ought to have found that Bernardo surrendered his privacy rights when he chose to murder two teenage girls and raped so many others."

He added the file is not a part of Bernardo's personal information, but an extension of his sentencing and other hearings, and not releasing the information breaches the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Kristen French was 15 and Leslie Mahaffy was 14 when Paul Bernardo savagely kidnapped, tortured and killed them. (Handout/The Canadian Press)

Bernardo is serving a life sentence for the brutal kidnappings, rapes and first-degree murders of two teenaged girls in the early 1990s and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

Leslie Mahaffy was 14 when Bernardo kidnapped, tortured and killed her in June 1991 at the Port Dalhousie, Ont., home of Bernardo and his then-fiancée, Karla Homolka.

Kristen French was 15 when Bernardo and his then-wife, Homolka, kidnapped her and tortured her for three days in April 1992 before killing her.

About the Author

Bobby Hristova

Reporter/Editor

Bobby Hristova is a reporter/editor with CBC Hamilton. Email: bobby.hristova@cbc.ca

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