Police warn of high-risk offender released in Halifax
Halifax Regional Police are warning residents about a dangerous, high-risk offender who is being released in the area.
Douglas Gladstone Burden was released to a halfway house in Halifax’s south end on Tuesday, after serving more than 20 years of his 21-year sentence in a federal penitentiary.
In 1992, the 55-year-old man was convicted of numerous charges including administering a noxious substance, unlawful confinement and several sexual assaults.
According to parole documents, Burden pretended to be someone he wasn’t to lure and rape women in the 1990s.
“We are releasing this information because of the gravity of the offences when Mr. Burden was convicted in 1992 for a slew of sexual offences,” says Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages.
According to parole documents, Burden admitted to raping 13 women over a three-year period. He would lure women to meet on the promise of getting them a job as a model. He would then spike their drink and drag them back to his apartment. The attacks took place in Ontario.
This isn’t the first time Burden has been released from prison; during two prior releases, his parole was revoked.
According to parole documents, he walked away from a halfway house and disappeared for several weeks. He was also caught using counterfeit money on a separate occasion.
The documents also state that, during his two months spent in the community while on parole, Burden “struck up conversation with women and used former tactics” to engage them.
Police say, given Burden’s criminal history of previous revocation of his parole, there are concerns he could reoffend. However, because of time served, Burden has to be released, even though he may be a risk.
“This individual is almost done his sentence. He has to pay his debt to society,” says Bourdages. “This is what the justice system deemed to be an appropriate punishment for his crime.”
Burden will be living at a halfway house located close to Dalhousie University. A security bulletin was issued to all staff and students.
Some students say they are concerned for their safety, especially during late-night study sessions on campus.
“Students can go anytime and sometimes students work late and we are here until very late, so it is good to know,” says university student Rafaeoa Andrade.
It isn’t clear why Burden was released to the neighbourhood. He will have to stay at the halfway house until the end of January, when he completes his full sentence.
Burden is described as a white man with brown hair and blue eyes. He is about five-foot-eleven and weighs 164 pounds.
Police say they are notifying the public as a precaution but warn that vigilante actions will not be tolerated.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl