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This article was published 17/2/2011 (3265 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - He sat silently in the prisoner’s docket, never uttering a word during a month-long trial. But it was more than just Mark Grant’s voice that jurors were deprived of hearing.
Grant, 47, has an extensive history with the criminal justice system which would have been revealed in court had he taken the witness stand to testify. Instead, he exercised his right to silence and kept his dark secrets hidden from the people who would decide his fate.
An accused’s criminal history can only be put before a jury if they choose to testify on their own behalf, thus making their credibility an issue to be grilled on cross-examination.
Court documents obtained by the Free Press reveal Grant has schizophrenia, and a mind previously preoccupied with disturbing rape fantasies, lust for vulnerable teens, a hatred of women and an unwillingness to take any treatment.
Grant spent nearly 13 years in prison from 1991 to 2004 — save for a nine-day stretch of parole when he raped another young woman. Behind bars, Grant alluded to other sex crimes dating as far back as the 1970s for which he was never charged, but he never disclosed specific details nor mentioned Candace Derksen.
Justice officials previously expressed grave concern for the safety of any young woman who had contact with him.
"Your sexual/assaultive behaviour has resulted in serious harm to the victims. You have been predatory in your choice of victims, often looking for unsophisticated and vulnerable post-pubescent female children," the National Parole Board wrote in revoking his parole in 1995.
"The board is satisfied that, if released, you are likely to commit an offence causing the death of or serious harm to another person before the expiration of your sentence."
It noted Grant’s self-reported "sexually deviant" behaviour that hadn’t resulted in criminal charges — including raping a drunk female stranger. He linked his "hatred of women" to the behaviour of his mother and sister and being "victimized" as a child but gave no specifics.
He also refused any type of treatment — such as chemical castration — that would have reduced his sexual urges.
"You are considered to be more concerned about your own sexual gratification than you are about the consequences your offending causes to others," the parole board wrote in 2004. "You admit your sexual gratification comes from the vulnerability of young women and children as ‘they are so trusting.’"
Testing of Grant revealed an "elevated level of arousal to rape stimuli" with the highest peaks occurring "with material depicting inappropriate sexual contacts with children, predominantly to female."
Grant’s criminal record at the time Candace went missing in November 1984 included a prior sexual assault conviction against an underage sex trade worker, plus convictions for forgery, fraud, break and enter, escape and failing to comply with court orders.
In fact, Grant had been in custody since May 24, 1984 following an arrest for break and enter, but escaped from a city hospital on Nov. 7 that year. He was 21 years old at the time. A Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest but not executed until days after Candace vanished on Nov. 30.
He was convicted in November 1991 of raping a young woman and given four years in prison. In July 1994 he was released on parole, then brutally raped a woman, 22, nine days later. His parole was revoked and he was eventually sentenced to nine years in prison.
The new time was added to the existing sentence, meaning his parole was re-calculated and the full sentence wouldn’t expire until September 2004. Grant served every minute of the sentence, as parole was denied based on his continuing rejection of treatment and what the board deemed an "enormous" risk of reoffending.
Grant was released at the end of his sentence but subjected to a peace bond application by Winnipeg police and a public alert through the Community Notification Advisory Committee. Conditions included staying away from children. The order expired in late 2005, and police issued a second warning to the community.
Around this time, officers began taking another look at Grant as a potential suspect in Candace Derksen’s abduction and killing. Police also began to monitor Grant’s movements with regular surveillance under what they called "Project Angel" that would eventually lead to his arrest in May 2007. He has been in custody ever since.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.