Nova Scotia

Drunk driver who killed Halifax man to be released on day parole

A New Brunswick man who was sentenced to two years in prison less than a year ago is getting out on parole. Dennis Donald Patterson, 25, was sentenced last November for driving drunk and killing a Halifax man in January 2018.

Dennis Donald Patterson, 25, was sentenced last November in death of Wray Hart

Wray Hart, shown in 2012, was killed by a drunk driver in Halifax in 2018. The drunk driver who killed him is getting out on day parole after less than a year in prison. (Submitted by Gary Julien)

A New Brunswick man who was sentenced to two years in prison less than a year ago is getting out on parole.

Dennis Donald Patterson, 25, was sentenced last November for drunk driving causing the death of a Halifax man in January 2018.

Wray Hart, 63, was found wedged under Patterson's car after Patterson lost control and struck a utility pole early on the morning of Jan. 27, 2018.

Hart had been walking along the side of Queen Street, pushing a shopping cart full of recyclables, when he was hit.

An accident reconstruction expert found Patterson was going at least 89 km/h when he struck Hart in a 50 km/h zone.

A police impairment expert found Patterson had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system when the collision occurred.

Day parole for 3 months

Patterson is to be released on day parole for three months before going on full parole. The Parole Board of Canada has approved a plan for him to stay with his girlfriend in another location during his parole.

Local police did not approve of the decision to release Patterson. His parole officer also believed it was too soon because the treatment Patterson had been receiving while in prison was disrupted by COVID-19 restrictions.

"Your institutional parole officer has offered a dissenting opinion to your release plan, as she believes that you have gained little insight into your offending behaviour and thus day parole, in her opinion is premature," the Board wrote in its decision. 

However, the board said Patterson had made progress and has strong support in the community. Patterson must abstain from alcohol and not own or operate a vehicle while he is on parole.

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About the Author

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca

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