One of Canada’s most infamous killers, whose name became reviled across the country after he murdered two Ontario teens, is back before the courts for an offence allegedly committed from a maximum-security prison.
Paul Bernardo appeared via video in a Napanee, Ont., courtroom on Friday facing one count of possession of a weapon, Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General said.
It was Bernardo’s second court appearance on the alleged offence, which court documents show took place on Feb. 9 at the Millhaven Institution in nearby Bath, Ont.
A spokesman for the ministry said the case was adjourned to May 18 for another video appearance. Bernardo’s lawyer did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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Bernardo has been a notorious figure since his arrest in the 1990s on allegations that he raped and murdered multiple teenage girls at his southern Ontario home.
His 1995 trial for the deaths of 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kristen French sent waves of horror across the country as lawyers presented videotaped evidence of Bernardo’s repeated brutal attacks on both girls.
Bernardo was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, forcible confinement and aggravated sexual assault in both cases and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
He was eventually also convicted of manslaughter in the death of Tammy Homolka, the younger sister of his wife Karla Homolka.
She, in turn, was convicted of playing roles in all three killings and served a 12-year prison sentence after striking a deal with prosecutors.
After admitting to raping 14 other women in and around Toronto, Bernardo was given a dangerous offender designation that all but ensures he will remain behind bars for life.
Bernardo’s name has been largely absent from national headlines in the years since his sentence, though he did arouse national ire when it was revealed he had a self-published work of fiction available for sale on Amazon. The 631-page book, which supposedly told the story of a plot by a “secret cabal” to return Russia to a world power, was ultimately withdrawn.
Bernardo became eligible for day parole in 2015, but it has not been granted.
Homolka has faced more scrutiny since her 2005 release from prison and eventually settled in Quebec with her new husband and children. Last year it was revealed that she had been volunteering at a Montreal-area elementary school, prompting it to revise its policies.
Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press