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Dangerous offender loses appeal for new hearing

James Norman Shanoss will continue to serve an indefinite jail sentence as a dangerous offender after he lost his appeal for a new hearing.

Shanoss, from Kispiox, was labelled as a dangerous offender in 2012 following his fifth conviction for sexual assault. He appealed the dangerous offender designation on the basis that the trial judge erred by not allowing him to obtain a stand-alone Gladue report, which takes into account his Indigenous heritage, before labelling him as a dangerous offender.

“… The judge took steps, without the need for an adjournment, to ensure she had the necessary information and to rectify the record in light of deficiencies counsel identified,” wrote Appeals Court Justice Harris in the court’s ruling. “In these circumstances, I cannot conclude the judge dealt with the matter arbitrarily or that she failed to exercise her discretion judicially … A further difficulty with Mr. Shanoss’ position on appeal is that there is nothing in the appeal record that gives this Court any basis to infer that there was material Gladuei nformation available but not before the sentencing judge. Moreover, there has been no application to adduce fresh evidence showing the existence of Aboriginal programs or facilities available in Mr. Shanoss’ community from which he might benefit and that might affect or have affected the sentence imposed. It would not be appropriate for this Court simply to speculate that if a stand-alone Gladue report had been prepared then some material information might possibly have come forward that could affect or have affected the sentence.”

The appeal was dismissed.