Yukon man arrested in Vancouver on Canada wide warrant

Richard Linklater, a Yukon man with a long criminal history, was arrested by the Metro Vancouver Transit Police on June 1.

Richard Linklater, a Yukon man with a long criminal history, was arrested by the Metro Vancouver Transit Police on June 1.

Transit police caught Linklater, 35, allegedly forcing his way through a fare gate at Edmonds SkyTrain station in Burnaby.

He first lied about his name, but after officers learned his true identity, they found a nation-wide warrant for his arrest, according to police a news release.

The officers then told Linklater he would be arrested, at which point he became agitated, saying they would have to take him “the hard way,” according to police.

After additional officers arrived, Linklater was taken into custody without an altercation, and found to be carrying “a quantity of drug paraphernalia,”

Linklater’s long history of breaking the law includes more than 50 criminal convictions, nine of them for violent offences.

He is known in the Whitehorse-area for escaping a courtroom barefoot in September 2015 and then evading arrest for another month.

Linklater’s most recent convictions came in February of this year when he received a two-year sentence for robbery, fraud, driving while disqualified, and escaping lawful custody.

During the trial, crown prosecutor Noel Sinclair was seeking a dangerous offender designation — the most restrictive a Canadian court can impose — which could have seen Linklater locked up indefinitely.

But a forensic psychiatrist determined that it was still possible for Linklater to be rehabilitated and reintegrate into the community. Linklater himself also pledged to get mental health treatment and stop using drugs.

Due to this, Linklater was able to escape the dangerous offender designation, instead receiving a 10-year long-term supervision order.

Under the supervision order, the Parole Board of Canada imposed five conditions on Linklater’s release, including staing away from drugs and alcohol, undergoing mental health treatment, steering clear of people involved with crime and drugs and obeying a “residency condition.”

The residency condition required Linklater to live at a halfway house, likely in the Vancouver-area, as part of his supervision. This is the most restrictive the Board can be in a situation like this, according to Patrick Storey, Regional Manager for Parole Board of Canada.

The supervision order began May 9, the day after Linklater was released from prison.

However, by June 1, a warrant for Linklater had already been issued for breaching the order. It was this warrant that led to his arrest.

If he is found guilty of violating the conditions of his supervision order, Linklater could receive up to two years in prison, during which time the 10-year countdown on the order would be paused.

Additional charges could lead to an even lengthier sentence, or even reconsideration of his supervision order, Sinclair said.

“He could be exposed to, depending on the nature of the charges, designation as a dangerous offender.”

During court proceedings in February, the possibility that Linklater would be sent to a “First Nations-focused community correctional environment in northern British Columbia” was discussed. It is unclear whether he was due to be sent there at a later date.

Linklater was also told about the consequences should he continue breaking the law, and the Crown told the court that the supervision order could be his last chance at freedom.

Contact Andrew Seal at andrew.seal@yukon-news.com

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