Wednesday, June 30, 1999

Canadian Press

p. A41.

Dangerous no more

Lisa Neve, seen here with unidentified youngster, is no longer a 'dangerous offender.'

Lisa Neve, seen here with unidentified youngster, is no longer a 'dangerous offender.'
— Southam

Alta.'s top court drops label that meant indefinite prison term for young woman

EDMONTON — She was once deemed Canada's most notorious young criminal, but Lisa Neve will soon be free again.

Her status as a dangerous offender — a designation reserved for Canada's most threatening criminals — was overturned yesterday by Alberta's top court.

"I can't believe today is here," said Neve's jubilant mother Coleen, who drove from her Calgary home to Edmonton in anticipation of the decision.

Lisa, described by her mother as overwhelmed and exhausted, declined to be interviewed.

Coleen Neve was thrilled at the prospect of her daughter's release but angry over how long the ordeal has dragged on.

"It was just fight, fight, fight all the time, to try to find out things and… you sit and you read the paper every day and see who got what for killing people and then you look at Lisa. It was an awful six years for the whole family."

Corrections Canada officials said they are reviewing the judgement to determine when Neve will be eligible for release.

She has been in custody since May 27, 1993, when she was sentenced for robbing a prostitute.

The Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal of that conviction and recommended a sentence of three years to follow any other terms she is serving.

Officials and family were unclear when Neve will be released but the ruling means she will no longer be jailed indefinitely.

The three-judge panel said Neve's designation as a dangerous offender was not reasonable given her troubled past. She was pushed into prostitution at age 12, abused by a pimp, shuffled among foster homes, and become a drug and alcohol addict.

When declared a dangerous offender in 1994 at the age of 21, Queen's Bench Justice Alec Murray said Neve had a "severe anti-social personality disorder which manifests itself in evil, violent and sadistic thoughts."

She has amassed 22 criminal convictions since age 15, many involving violence, threats and weapons.

— Canadian Press

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