A con man who ripped off vulnerable North Vancouver seniors for more than $1 million has been granted full parole after serving half of his sentence — even though the parole board deemed him a risk to re-offend in the future.
“The board has considerable concerns about your risk for committing non-violent fraud type crimes in the community,” the parole board told Bryan Tickell, 34, before springing him from jail.
But under federal rules in place when Tickell was sentenced, the parole board could only deny him parole if he was a risk to commit violent crimes.
Tickell was sentenced to six years in jail in June 2009 after pleading guilty to fraud, breach of trust and forgery for scamming elderly clients while he was a caseworker with the Office of the Public Trustee.
As a civil servant, Tickell was sworn to protect the interests of elderly people who had been declared incapable of managing their own financial and legal affairs. Instead, he used the system to steal from his clients. In one case he transferred an undeveloped lot belonging to an elderly North Vancouver woman into his own name, forging signatures and claiming that he was the woman's grandson. Soon after the transfer was complete, he sold the property for more than $1 million.
While some of the money has since been recovered, the parole board noted in its written reasons Tickell still owes the Public Trustee almost $130,000.
This month’s parole decision is actually the second time Tickell has been granted parole.
He was originally granted accelerated day parole in February 2010 after serving only eight months of his sentence and spent a year living in a halfway house.
But when Tickell subsequently applied for full parole the board turned him down, saying he hadn’t shown insight into the “predatory nature” of his crime or proved that he was capable of holding down a job.
He went back to jail.
When Tickell applied again for day parole in May of 2012, he was again rejected after the board told him “your presentation was glib and lacked credibility,” adding Tickell had “a complete lack of insight” into the causes and consequences of his crimes.
In March of last year, the federal government passed a law that abolished the early parole program.
But a B.C. Supreme Court decision this summer ruled it was unconstitutional to deny early parole to people who had already been sentenced before the laws changed.
Tickell’s case fit that description. This month, he was granted early parole under the old rules despite his attitude described by the parole board as “blatant disregard for the rules of the law” and psychopathic character traits.
Because the board considers him a moderate risk to re-offend, conditions have been placed on Tickell requiring him to provide documentation to his parole officer about income and debt, to get approval from that parole officer before accepting a job and not to be in a position of responsibility for the management of finances or investments for any other individual, business or institution.
Under new parole rules, no one is eligible for parole until they have served at least a third of their sentence. Parole is also harder to get, because parole boards must be convinced the convict is unlikely to commit any further crimes — not just violent ones.