Parole board lifts repeat sexual offender’s suspension
Repeat sexual offender Joseph Frederick McGrath will live under new conditions for his parole based on a recent decision made by the National Parole Board. — Telegram file photo
The National Parole Board has lifted its suspension on parolee and repeat sexual offender Joseph Frederick McGrath, but he will have to adhere to new conditions.
McGrath, who has been supported by Stella Burry Community Services in St. John’s since his release from prison in July 2010, will have his residency condition to live in a halfway house extended by 180 days based on the decision of the National Parole Board, made Dec. 22.
He is prohibited from being in, near or around places where children under the age of 18 are likely to gather, unless accompanied by an adult approved by his parole supervisor.
McGrath also cannot access pornography.
A prior condition regarding computer and Internet access has been replaced with one prohibiting him from using or possessing a computer or any technological device that would allow McGrath to have unsupervised Internet access.
The suspension was the second for McGrath.
According to a certified copy of the board’s decision obtained by The Telegram, McGrath was observed using a cellular device to access an Internet signal.
When asked at the time by a Correctional Service of Canada staff member what he was doing, McGrath denied he was trying to access the Internet and said he was repairing the device for a fellow halfway house resident.
The board’s decision said he failed to take responsibility for his actions leading up to the suspension or to acknowledge the seriousness of his behaviour.
“It is concerning to the board that you failed to recognize the high risk situation you place yourself in when you elected to access the Internet,” said the board.
“The nature of your offences dictates that extreme caution must be exercised in your case in order for you to not return to your crime cycle. You have a history of accessing child pornography which serves to fuel your fantasies and contributes to your sexual offences against children.”
McGrath has been previously convicted of accessing and possessing child pornography, sexual assault, break and enter, and theft.
His last conviction came in August 2009 after a Correctional Service of Canada worker found child pornography on McGrath’s computer at the Stella Burry residence. He was on parole at the time.
That December, McGrath received a four-year sentence, but double-credit for time served left him with one year to serve.
The parole board’s decision said McGrath presents a high risk to reoffend, but added he has “functioned well” when offered community support services, with the exception of his two suspensions.
Leave privileges for weekends will not be granted while he stays in a halfway house. He lives under a long-term supervision order set to expire Dec. 21, 2020.