Two years ago, residents of a Chilliwack neighbourhood tried to have a high-risk sex offender removed from the community and he was back in court Tuesday.
|High-risk sex offender James William Conway.|
James William Conway was in Chilliwack provincial court as his supervision order came to an end on Jan. 12 upon completion of his sentence and the Crown is applying to extend the order.
“The Criminal Code of Canada statute (CCC – 810.1) relates to the Crown seeking to extend Mr. Conway’s supervision order and court-ordered conditions, in the interest of public safety, following the expiration of his probation period,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General explained.
Conway, who is developmentally disabled, was first in the news in 2016 when some residents in Abbotsford and then Mission were angry about his presence in their communities.
In 2017, he moved to Chilliwack, something the mayor at the time, Sharon Gaetz was not happy about. She said she was told as a courtesy that he was moving to a remote location in the city.
He was living in that undisclosed location until 2018 when the then 43-year-old was spotted wearing an electronic ankle monitor in an Eastern Hillsides neighbourhood.
|High-risk sex offender James Conway.|
Conway has a criminal history which includes three sexual offences against children, including sexual interference of a person under 16, as well as sexual assault, arson damaging property, failure to comply with disposition and breach of recognizance.
Residents in the area near where he was living under 24-hour supervision in a house owned by the government of B.C. were angry. Flyers were distributed warning the community about his presence.
Gaetz then re-affirmed her displeasure about the situation. She said in June 2018 that she spoke with the head of B.C. Corrections and a representative for Community Living B.C. to ask questions and express her emphasis on residents feeling safe.
“I expressed also my request, even though I have no authority, that they remove him from our community for the safety of the residents and for his own safety,” Gaetz said in 2018. “People are angry and people are upset.”
Days later, dozens of protesters gathered outside the home where he was living with placards that said things like “Protect Our Neighbourhood” and “Public Access to NSOR!”, a reference to the National Sex Offender Registry.
Conway, who also has the alias Jamie Conway, according to Court Services Online, is next due in court on that file on March 17.
The spokesperson for the Ministry that oversees courts emphasized that Conway has been compliant with his court-ordered conditions and he is not facing any new charges.
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