Nfld. & Labrador

Serial domestic abuser from N.L. released from prison amid warnings he's at high risk to reoffend

A man with ties to Botwood, N.L., and a long history of domestic violence has been released from prison, despite an assessment that says he's a high risk to reoffend.

Adam Budgell was convicted of sexual assault, forcible confinement, choking in 2019

Adam Budgell has several convictions for assaulting women in Newfoundland and Ontario. (Submitted photograph)

Warning: This article contains details of domestic abuse.

A serial domestic abuser and sex offender who left a trail of victims across eastern Canada has been released from prison, despite being deemed a high risk to reoffend.

Adam Budgell was convicted of sexual assault, forcible confinement and choking in 2019 in a Welland, Ont., court, and has spent the last two years behind bars.

Due to Canadian law, he has to spend the final third of his 40-month sentence in a residential facility, or halfway house, somewhere in the country. 

A Parole Board of Canada decision issued late last month shows Budgell isn't allowed to contact three of his victims or have any relationship with a woman without notifying his parole officer. He also has to return to the halfway house each night, and can't drink alcohol or use drugs.

It also found that Budgell "presented a high risk of imminent domestic violence" and a moderate risk of reoffending in general.

"Your community supervision history is limited but you have breached probation, undertakings, and non-contact order in the past, including current breaches where you committed additional domestic violence while under conditions," the file reads, in support of its decision to have Budgell closely monitored while living in the greater community.

The Parole Board of Canada and Corrections Canada wouldn't reveal Budgell's whereabouts, however, citing privacy laws.

Budgell isn't considered a dangerous offender, despite a parole decision that warned of his risk of repeating violent crimes against intimate partners. (Adam Budgell/Facebook)

Police also couldn't confirm that Budgell was released to Newfoundland, where his family lives. An RCMP spokesperson told CBC News the force is legally permitted only to notify the public of the locations of dangerous offenders. Budgell isn't considered one, according to his parole decision.

But that hasn't stopped panic from snowballing on social media at rumours of his return, with Facebook users warning widely against entering into a relationship with Budgell.

Long track record

Budgell has a lengthy record in Newfoundland and Labrador, with at least seven convictions for assault, and at least two other convictions in Ontario for assaulting former partners.

His parole file describes how he threatened to slit one partner's throat and wrapped a pillow case around her neck, beating and confining her. When he fled to Ontario after an arrest warrant was issued for that assault, he choked, beat and then sexually assaulted another partner. 

His most recent crimes landed him in federal prison until his statutory release date, which passed on Monday.

The file went on to describe how Budgell refused to enrol in an inmate program for sex offenders while in prison.

"Attempts at having you participate were unsuccessful, as you do not want to be identified as a sex offender," the file said. "You have stated, however, that you would be willing to participate in programming if it was available in the community."

Budgell's time as an inmate has "not been without concern," the file continued, listing a number of institutional charges he racked up while incarcerated.

It also detailed his traumatic childhood, characterizing Budgell as a man battling chronic emotional deregulation who's prone to lashing out in domestic settings.

"You experienced tragic loss as a child and witnessed substance abuse and domestic violence, and although such is through no fault of your own, it appears to have profoundly affected you," the parole board wrote.

Budgell's sentence is scheduled to end in January 2023, according to Corrections Canada.

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