Friday, July 2, 1999

Former dangerous offender, Neve, freed


MAPLE CREEK, SASK — The woman that an Alberta court once described as one of Canada's most violent young criminals has been freed from prison.

Neve celebrates with her mother Lisa Neve, 26, was designated a dangerous offender in 1994, which meant she could be jailed indefinitely. She became one of only two women in Canada to be labelled a dangerous offender.

But on Thursday Neve walked out of the door of a Saskatchewan jail as a free woman. CBC reporter Cathy Tomlinson spent most of the day with Neve as she prepared for life on the outside. Tomlinson said the former inmate was "ecstatic" but also "in shock" and "nervous" about what to expect.

In sentencing Neve in 1994, Justice Alec Murray of Alberta Court of Queen's Bench said that Neve, then 21, had a "severe, anti-social personality disorder which manifests itself in evil, violent and sadistic thoughts."

He also noted Neve's 22 criminal convictions since the age of 15 — offences including slashing a prostitute's neck, threatening an Edmonton lawyer and his children, and taking a fellow inmate hostage.

Chief Justice Catherine Fraser headed a three-member panel that took 15 months to examine Neve's case. Earlier this week the panel said in a statement that it was "not reasonable" for Neve to be ruled a dangerous offender.

Neve has been serving time at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, a federal minimum-security jail in Maple Creek, Sask. She has served four-and-half years on a robbery conviction. The convicton normally carries a three-year sentence.

The only other woman in Canada to be designated a dangerous offender was Marlene Moore, who committed suicide in a federal women's prison in Kingston, Ont., in 1988.

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