The man who beat a well-known gay rights advocate to death in Halifax five years ago has been granted supervised community access.

Andre Denny failed to return to a Halifax-area forensic psychiatric facility on April 16, 2012, after receiving a one-hour unescorted pass.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Denny got into an argument with 49-year-old Raymond Taavel outside a gay bar on Gottingen Street that night, punching him in the head and slamming his face into the pavement several times.

The Membertou, N.S. man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Taavel’s death in November 2015.

At the time of his sentencing, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Peter Rosinski said the assault was motivated by "generalized anger," fuelled in part by Denny's psychosis and abuse of crack cocaine and alcohol.

Denny was sentenced to nearly eight years behind bars and has been serving his time at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. He was recently granted early release after serving two-thirds of his sentence.      

Dr. Aileen Brunet, the clinical director of the East Coast Forensic Hospital, says Denny will be supervised by a staff member when he goes into the community.  

He will also be allowed community access with a small, directly supervised group.

With files from The Canadian Press