Former bank robber, Stephen Reid, denied full parole

  • Mar. 24, 2015 2:00 p.m.

By Evelyn von AlmassyHaida Gwaii Observer Celebrated author and former member of the infamous Stopwatch Gang, Mr. Stephen Reid, was denied full parole March 3, effectively putting his plans of moving permanently to Haida Gwaii on hold. Mr. Reid was unavailable for comment, but his wife, Ms. Susan Musgrave, spoke to the Observer the afternoon of her husband’s parole hearing in Victoria. She said a full parole would have meant that he would no longer need to live in a halfway house or have daily curfews, freeing him to settle in the house the couple built together in Masset. Mr. Reid would be required to meet with a Queen Charlotte parole officer once per month.”The reason that they gave, was that 14 months was not long enough since his last breach of his day-parole,” Ms. Musgrave said.At the time of his breach, Mr. Reid was having a beer with his hamburger in Victoria when his parole officer happened to walk into the same pub. Drinking alcohol was a breach of his probation.Mr. Reid was handed an 18-year sentence in 1999 for robbing the Royal Bank on Cook Street in Victoria, and for attempted murder of a police officer and an innocent bystander. He had also broken into the apartment of an older couple in James Bay, taking refuge until his arrest later that night. Mr. Reid had been dealing with addiction to heroin and cocaine on and off since he was a teenager. Mr. Reid was allegedly introduced to morphine by “a grown man, a doctor and a pedophile when he was eleven years old.”Mr. Reid was previously incarcerated for 21 years for his part of the Stopwatch Gang Bank robberies in the ’70s and ’80s. He was previously released on full parole in 1987.”His parole board didn’t cut him any slack,” Ms. Musgrave said, adding her husband said to her, ‘they were making me accountable for my crimes.'”His parole officer is madder than he is! The parole board weren’t going to discuss his passes today.” Mr. Reid should have three more passes of two weeks each.” Mr. Reid’s statutory release date is in August 2015, when the warrant expires for his crimes.

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