© Global News
A Newmarket man who was denied day parole earlier this month after serving 14 months of his sentence for a deadly crash continues to deflect responsibility due to his mental health issues, according to a parole board ruling.
In a decision released Thursday, the Parole Board of Canada said 22-year-old Tyler Nielsen, who is serving a five-year sentence, still experiences mental health challenges on a daily basis and while he is compliant with his prescribed medication, he also has “a history of short-term gains.”
In March 2019, Nielsen pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of 28-year-old Stuart Ellis. The young husband and father was killed when a car being driven by Nielsen collided with Ellis’ car on Highway 48 near Davis Drive on November 13, 2017.
Nielsen had a cocktail of alcohol and drugs in his blood and was driving his stepfather’s car without consent.
According to the agreed statement of facts, Nielsen was driving in excess of 200 km/hour before colliding head-on with Ellis’ vehicle after crossing into oncoming traffic.
The Correctional Service of Canada recommended that day parole be granted, based on his mostly positive institutional behavior, assessed low risk and the release plan presented, which included treatment to address outstanding needs, including a ban on alcohol, drugs, and driving.
Nielsen told the board he is currently prescribed a mild anti-psychotic drug to address anxiety on an as-needed basis. When asked to highlight three behavioural changes realized during his incarceration, Nielsen cited improved mental health, learning to cook, clean and better attendance for appointments.
The report also cited three incidents that occurred since Nielsen arrived in federal custody, including finding tobacco, a play station, and a power bar in his cell. The parole board found these incidents were examples of the challenges with emotions and anxiety that the offender continues to face.
The Parole Board of Canada found that Nielsen’s long-term substance abuse issues also remained unaddressed and found his continued mental health difficulties are impacted by substance abuse, which needs to be addressed to mitigate his risk in the community.
The board suggested that prior to his next review, Nielsen have a psychological assessment to establish the impact of his mental health history on his risk to re-offend.