B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk).

Surrey sex assault strangler gets second “indeterminate” prison sentence

Blake Randall Wright had already been designated a “dangerous offender” on Dec. 11, 1984

Surrey sex assault strangler Blake Randall Wright has been sentenced to a second indeterminate length of incarceration in prison.

Justice Kenneth Ball, at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, sentenced Wright on Feb. 16.

On July 15, 2016 Wright was convicted of sexually assaulting a Surrey prostitute in 2013 and attempting to render her “insensible, unconscious or incapable of resistance by choking, suffocating or strangling.”

Wright had already been designated a “dangerous offender” on Dec. 11, 1984. This latest crime, Ball said, happened “within a short time of release on full parole” after Wright had spent decades in treatment programs while incarcerated.

This is his second indeterminate sentence. He had been on full parole when he attacked the prostitute in 2013 after meeting her on the corner of 81st Avenue and King George Boulevard in Newton. Settling on a fee of $40, she got into his vehicle and he drove her to his apartment in the 14900-block of 100th Avenue in Guildford, the court heard, where he choked her into unconsciousness and assaulted her. Be warned that the details in the judges’ reasons for judgment are graphic.

“She made considerable noise by striking the floor of the apartment,” Ball noted. “The accused temporarily moved off of her person on the floor of the apartment. In that moment, she grabbed her clothing and escaped the apartment.”

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The victim, who cannot be identified, told the court she is haunted by flashbacks and nightmares and feels “empty, scared and not in control” of her life.

Ball noted that “choking has become a feared event in her life, a fear so profound that a strong hug from her infant child causes a fear reaction.

“She is receiving therapy to deal with these concerns.”

Wright was born in Calgary in 1961. He was arrested for his first sexual offence when he was in Grade 11. Wright saw his first psychiatrist at age 14, was expelled from school in grades seven, eight and nine for outbursts of temper and fighting but managed to complete Grade 12 while in prison. In June 1989 her received a BA degree in psychology.

This is what led to Wright’s dangerous offender designation:

On Dec. 21, 1978 he was sentenced to 18 months for raping a high school girl. Then on April 28, 1980, he was sentenced to three years for raping a 48-year-old woman three weeks after his release on the first conviction.

On June 29, 1984 Wright was sentenced to eight years for buggery. In that case the victim spent time in hospital.

On Dec. 11, 1984, he was found to be a dangerous offender and sentenced to an indeterminate sentence on two counts of sex assault in 1983. In one case, he went to the woman’s home, tied her up with electrical cords and assaulted her. In the other, he followed a woman out of a bar to her car and asked for a ride. She refused and he attacked her.

A forensic psychiatrist informed the court that over 36 years Wright saw many psychologists and psychiatrists “and there were countless evaluations.”

Ball in his reasons for decision noted that “Dr. Riar expressed the opinion that he does not believe that any form of treatment will benefit Mr. Wright in the future, although he recommends that if Mr. Wright is ever released into the community he should be followed closely by mental health professionals ‘who are savvy’ at treating sexual offenders.”

The judge noted the Crown argued that “there is not a reasonable expectation that any sentence other than an indeterminate sentence will adequately protect the public.”

The judge said Wright has demonstrated he has no control over his sexual impulses.

Ball decided Wright “must be separated from civil society for the protection of its female members until it is established that he does not present an ongoing danger.

“I therefore impose the fit and proper sentence in this case which is an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for the offences set out in the indictment,” Ball concluded.


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