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Dangerous driver sentenced to long-term supervision

William Ryan Aime Nadeau will remain under supervision of Corrections Canada and the Parole Board of Canada for a decade upon completing his time in jail
William Ryan Aime Nadeau as seen in a photo issued in January 2021, when he went missing a month before stealing a pickup truck in Carmacks, Yukon and getting as far as Quesnel.

The subject of a missing person bulletin who later emerged at the centre of a high-profile arrest in the Central Interior after stealing a pickup truck in the Yukon will be under the eye of federal authorities for a further decade once he has completed the remainder of his time in jail.

William Ryan Aime Nadeau, 47, was sentenced Tuesday to 3 1/2 years in jail followed by a 10-year long-term supervision order, and has been prohibited from driving for one year, for an escapade that began when he stole the truck from a mining site near Carmacks and ended the next day with his apprehension just north of Quesnel.

Less credit for time served prior to sentencing, he had 126 more days to serve in the jail sentence. Once completed, he will remain under the direct supervision of Corrections Canada and the Parole Board of Canada for a further 10 years and likely be assigned to a halfway house.

According to an agreed statement of facts, on Feb. 18, 2021, Nadeau had ventured onto the mining site to ask for cigarettes. Feeling that the two workers on the site were rude to him, Nadeau returned during the early morning of the next day, this time wearing a camouflage mask, armed with a compound bow with arrows and bear spray and carrying zap straps.

Nadeau entered the building where the workers were sleeping and when one of them went downstairs to investigate the noise, Nadeau pointed the bear spray at him and ordered him to get down on his knees. The worker refused and, despite being bear sprayed by Nadeau, was able to retreat back upstairs where the two barricaded themselves in their room.

Nadeau found keys to the truck and left. Because the camp's communication cables had been cut, the workers were unable to call for help for about 20 minutes.  However, RCMP were eventually alerted and, by pinging his cellphone, learned he was heading south on Highway 97.

RCMP laid down a spike belt near Salmon Valley only to see Nadeau veer into the oncoming lane and then back over the snow-covered meridian to evade police, travelling in excess of 100 km/h all the while.

Nadeau continued on passing other vehicles at a high speed and blowing through red lights. Police did not pursue out of concern for public safety and when he was relocated heading south on the highway, he called police and asked them to leave him alone and falsely claimed that he had cut his wrists.

Nadeau finally came to a stop at a roadblock police had set up near the Cottonwood Bridge, 26 kilometres north of Quesnel and was arrested. By then, RCMP had called in a helicopter, a crisis negotiator and a dog team.

Nadeau was arrested under the Mental Health Act. According to a series of assessments, Nadeau had a difficult upbringing and suffers from a series of head injuries and an array of psychiatric and substance abuse issues and hears voices, notably one that encourages him to commit violent acts.

Nadeau's past includes planting explosives around his home in a trailer park, arming himself and telling neighbours to stay 100 metres away. Following his latest arrest, Nadeau told authorities he had planned to drive as far as Williams Lake, then gather weapons and survival gear and prepare for a world war.

However, Nadeau fell short of meeting the criteria for being not criminally responsible due to medical disorder. That outcome could have exposed him to the possibility of spending the rest of his days in a provincially-run forensic psychiatric hospital.

But Nadeau not only pleaded guilty to a series of charges from the incident, he consented to the long-term supervision order, which became part of a joint submission on sentencing from Crown and defence counsels.

In agreeing to the submission, Provincial Court Judge Susan Mengering found that based in particular on the psychiatric report, Nadeau poses a high risk to re-offend but went on to note that he has sought and wants psychiatric help.

"A long-term supervision order will allow a crafting of conditions and provision of services that Mr. Nadeau has never before had access to," Mengering said. "It is clear that a lengthy period of monitoring and supervision in the community is essential for ongoing risk reduction and risk management."

Roughly a month before his arrest, a missing person bulletin had been issued for Nadeau. Then living in Surrey, it was believed that Nadeau had passed through Prince George at the time. On Tuesday, Nadeau no longer had a beard that he was wearing in the photo issued with the bulletin.