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St. John's convict housed in Nova Scotia, banned from living in certain location by parole board

Philip Wayne Pynn (right) talks to his co-counsel Kellie Cullihal in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s Tuesday. — Photo by Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram
Philip Wayne Pynn (right) talks to his co-counsel Kellie Cullihal in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s. — Telegram file photo

Board says ban 'reasonable and necessary' based on convicted killer’s pro-criminal behaviour

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Convicted killer Philip Pynn is living in a halfway house in Nova Scotia because his original release destination was "not workable due to victim concerns," parole board documents indicate.

Pynn, 32, was given statutory release from Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., earlier this week as required by law, since he has served two-thirds of his prison term. Instead of returning to St. John's to serve the remainder of his sentence in a community residential facility, he was transferred to one in Halifax, and will remain there until April 2020.

The Parole Board of Canada has given Pynn strict release conditions: he must return to the house every night; he must not consume, purchase or possess alcohol or drugs, other than medications taken as prescribed; he must avoid all contact with one of the targets of his crimes and the family members of another; and he must avoid everyone he knows or believes is involved in criminal activity.

Days before his release, the board imposed one more order: Pynn must stay away from a specific geographical area, the name of which was redacted from the documents. The parole board noted, however, it's an area in which a "security threat group," or gang with which Pynn is associated, is active.

Pynn is known as a founding member of the self-proclaimed St. John's Mob Squad.

"It is the board's opinion, based on your previously demonstrated comfort with criminal offending in various institutions in different provinces during the current sentence, your documented susceptibility to the highly negative influence of criminally active associates, and the activities of the (security threat group) with which you are associated within the identified geographic area, there is sufficient reliable information to be persuaded that a special condition to restrict you from this geographic area in your release destination is both reasonable and necessary," the parole board documents read.

The board noted Pynn has an "extensive and versatile" criminal history, with more than 100 convictions and no significant periods of time without charges. Many of his convictions include violence and weapons, and more than 60 of them are for breaching court orders, which demonstrates, the board said, a non-compliant approach to community expectations and a strong possibility for similar problems in the future.

Pynn has incurred more than four dozen charges while in prison, the board noted, related to assaults on other inmates, fighting, failed drug testing, possessing contraband, being a nuisance and failing to comply with prison rules.

Of particular interest to the board, it wrote, was information contained in an assessment completed last month.

"(It) advises of your recent criminal conviction for an assault which you committed while at maximum security, and of your continued poor institutional behaviour, including assaults on other offenders and the seizure of narcotics from your cell."

In February 2015 Pynn was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison for manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of his friend Nick Winsor in a garage on Portugal Cove Road five years earlier. Credit given for time already spent in custody left about four years on his term.

He earned another 14 months in jail after he was convicted for his involvement in a 2014 prison riot at Her Majesty's Penitentiary, in which several inmates attacked fellow offender Kenny Green in the prison's chapel.

Pynn had been scheduled for statutory release last July, but was convicted of new assault charges and remained in jail until this week. When the parole board reported its release decision before those charges were laid, it noted Pynn was at a high risk to reoffend without strict conditions, and had made little progress when it came to changing his criminal ways despite being moved to a higher security area.

"The board notes your blatant disregard for others," the July 2018 document read. "The board believes you still have a propensity for violence."

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