‘Undue risk’ countered by conditions

A man sentenced to jail time nearly four years ago for killing his ailing wife is facing a number of restrictions on his statutory release after a psychological assessment found him at a moderate risk to re-offend.

Richard Bridle, 53, was sentenced in July 2007 to six years in jail after killing his wife, Linda, two years earlier.

At the time, he was on probation for a previous assault on his wife.

Back in July 2005, Bridle, who had been drinking, lashed out in anger after his sick wife let the kitchen sink overflow.

He slapped her in the kitchen and again when she went to the bathroom.

She hit her head as she fell and was rendered unconscious.

She didn’t receive medical attention until some three hours later, when Bridle’s parents came over after they phoned and realized something was amiss.

Linda, whose lung cancer had spread to her brain, died in hospital several days later.

Bridle has now served two-thirds of his sentence and, like other offenders, must serve the final third of his sentence in the community under supervision.

The only time statutory release is denied is if it can be determined an offender will likely cause an offence causing harm or death, a sexual offence involving a child or a serious drug offence.

While in prison, officials say Bridle has made “minimal progress” in reducing his risk to re-offend and note that while he poses an overall moderate risk to re-offend, he poses a high risk to re-offend in the realm of family violence, despite having taken the high intensity family violence program.

In a decision by the Parole Board of Canada, they say that without a residency condition, Bridle will present an “undue risk” to society.

They also say abstaining from intoxicants will be a key risk management strategy.

As well, he must abide by conditions to follow psychological counselling and to report all relationships with women.

“These special conditions are reasonable and necessary to protect society and assist in your reintegration as a law-abiding citizen,” parole board members concluded.


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