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Patient requests move to CNCC

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network


A violent and dangerous psychiatric patient wants to serve an assault sentence at a nearby jail rather than the mental health facility where he now resides.

Gavin Bowles, 36, appeared in Midland court Friday to continue a sentencing hearing that started in May relating to his assault on a registered practical nurse at the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in 2014.

Ontario Court Justice Enno Meijers had already found Bowles guilty during a trial that included surveillance video taken at the Penetanguishene facility showing the incident in question.

Shackled at the wrists and waist, Bowles' appearance Friday featured not only two Midland Police Service special constables, but also two OPP officers on either side of the prisoner's dock, another in the body of the courtroom and a fourth guarding the room's main entrance.

Wearing a beige t-shirt and navy blue cargo pants with close-cropped reddish hair and a full beard, Bowles answered Meijers questions regarding how he was and whether he had read a Waypoint report about him with one-word replies such as "good" and "no."

This included a query about whether he wants to go to jail on the charge by not being sentenced as not criminally responsible (NCR).

"Yes," said Bowles, who's been at Waypoint for at least eight years.

Assistant Crown Attorney Carolyn Ross told Meijers she would be seeking a conditional sentence for Bowles with an order that he continue residing at Waypoint.

"The evidence does not support the threshold test for NCR," she said.

While Bowles represented himself at trial, Meijers appointed an amicus curiae counsel for the sentencing portion. But with attorney Allison Pyper not available Friday, student-at-law Rohan George appeared on her behalf asking that the sentencing hearing be put over to next week. The request was granted.

In 2014, Bowles made headlines when he managed to get out of Waypoint's heightened-security Atrium building while also on trial for biting a nurse.

After escaping the forensics' unit, Bowles scaled a 30-foot security fence, injuring his back while jumping from the top of it. Yet, despite his injuries, he still managed to climb two more security fences before he removed his clothes and ran off down a road and into the woods. He was tracked down not long after by police officers and search dogs.

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