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Bail reform should have prevented suspect’s release in B.C. murder: Eby

B.C. premier wants to better understand bail reform failing in Death of Surrey’s Tori Dunn
B.C. Premier David Eby speaks during a news conference in Vancouver, on Friday, May 31, 2024. Eby says the province worked alongside Ontario to get the federal government to change its bail rules, so he is not sure why a man with a long and violent criminal history was released just weeks before the stabbing death of a 30-year-old woman in her Surrey, B.C., home. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

British Columbia’s premier says the province worked with the federal government to change its bail rules, so he is not sure why a man with a long and violent criminal history was released from jail weeks before the stabbing death of a woman in her Surrey, B.C., home.

David Eby called the murder “horrific,” saying the reformed federal rules should have prevented Adam Mann’s release.

The 40-year-old man was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Tori Dunn last month, which her family has said stemmed from a home invasion.

Dunn’s family has launched a petition calling for a legal review of the circumstances that led to Mann’s release and for “changes to the system that will prevent similar tragedies in the future.”

The petition, which was launched July 3, had amassed nearly 2,200 signatures as of Tuesday.

Eby said he has asked his team to reach out to the Dunn family to discuss the case to better understand what went wrong and to find ways to “support the family in their calls for further federal reform.”

“This never should have happened,” Eby said on Tuesday.

“It’s just awful, and understanding why it didn’t work in the Dunn case will help us protect other families going forward,” he added, referring to the bail rules.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said in a statement last month that Mann, an Ontario resident, was found by Surrey police while they were on their way to Dunn’s home on June 16, where she was found with grave injuries.

At the time, Mann was facing an unrelated aggravated assault charge for an alleged attack in Surrey three weeks earlier.

He was once deemed an “unmanageable risk” unsuitable for community supervision, in a pre-sentencing report after being convicted of a home invasion in Ontario more than a decade ago.

Court records in B.C., Ontario and New Brunswick show Mann has a criminal history dating back decades.

The charges against Mann in relation to Tori Dunn’s death have not yet been tested in court and he is expected back in court on the allegations on July 19.

In 2009, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for robbery and weapons offences in connection with a home invasion, which he unsuccessfully appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruling in 2010 said Mann had racked up 22 previous convictions by the age of 25, including violent offences involving firearms and robberies.

The ruling said a pre-sentence report on Mann was “very bleak,” and that he once described stabbing a female victim as “like a knife going through butter.”

The report said Mann was “not suitable for community supervision, as he appears to be an unmanageable risk while in the community.”

In December 2014, Mann was convicted of assault after spitting on two employees of the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., where he was incarcerated.

Online court records in B.C. show Mann also has a long criminal history in the province.

In 2021, he was found guilty of publication of an intimate image without consent, an offence that occurred in Abbotsford.

In March this year, Mann was found guilty of possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose, and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace office. He was then found guilty of breaching a probation order on June 5.

Eby had previously said Mann’s release had raised questions because he was facing criminal charges and Crown prosecutors had urged a judge not to release him back into the community.

A statement from B.C. Attorney General Niki Sharma on June 28 said the government would be “looking at what happened here and advocating to Ottawa to ensure the federal Criminal Code is responsive to public safety needs.”

READ ALSO: Slain Surrey woman’s family calls for review of accused’s criminal history

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