New parole board hearing ordered for man who murdered teenage girl


Sébastien Simon’s latest request for escorted leaves was turned down on Aug. 31, but he successfully appealed the decision.

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A man who killed a 17-year-old girl while she was working alone during a late shift at a gas station will get another chance to convince the Parole Board of Canada he is ready to take part in escorted leaves while he serves his life sentence .

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The board’s appeal division rarely agrees with an offender’s complaint that they weren’t given a fair hearing. But it has in the case of Sébastien Simon, a 34-year-old man serving a life sentence for murdering Brigitte Serre on Jan. 25, 2006.

During a robbery involving two accomplices, Simon stole money and other items from the gas station. He stabbed Serre 72 times and punched her in the head repeatedly before he and the other men left. Three days earlier, Simon had been fired from his job at the same gas station in St-Léonard after Serre reported that he had stolen money from a cash register.

Simon pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in September 2007 and automatically received a life sentence. He is required to serve 25 years before he becomes eligible for full parole.

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He has been turned down three times in requests for escorted leaves designed to prepare an offender for parole in the future. He was most recently turned down on Aug. 31, but he appealed and, last week, a new hearing was ordered. He will ask again to be able to visit family and perform community service while escorted by staff from Correctional Service Canada.

“The appeal division finds that the board did not weigh all the information available regarding the beneficial character of your escorted temporary absence program for community service in a community resource. As mentioned previously, it does not seem to have weighed the information transmitted by Correctional Service Canada as well as the explanations you provided during your hearing,” the author of the decision wrote.

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“You say that you started a process of change several years ago and that you have participated in several correctional programs, psychological follow-up and criminological.”

Simon also argued the parole board’s decision was influenced by how, at the time of his last hearing, he was about to ask a Quebec Superior Court judge to reduce his period of parole ineligibility to 15 years. That request was rejected in December.

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