Canada
Dangerous offender placed behind bars indefinitely

Michelle Austin a victim of Gregory Last speaks to the media after he was found to be a dangerous offender by Superior Court Justice Lynne Leitch Tuesday Jan 15. 2013 at the London, Ont courthouse.

Credits: MIKE HENSEN/The London Free Press

JANES SIMS | QMI AGENCY

LONDON -- After Gregory Last was designated a dangerous offender and jailed indefinitely Tuesday, survivor Michelle Austin was walking on air.

"This is the absolute best outcome I could have ever hoped for," she said on the steps of the London courthouse. "I hoped this for years and years and then I didn't hope it anymore because I thought it was impossible and now it's actually coming true. I'm so happy about that."

Last was just 19 when he was arrested for the brutal attack on Austin at her apartment and a gunpoint sexual assault on a teenager in the fall of 2003.

He was defiant at his trials and denied beating, choking and assaulting Austin. He said he had consensual sex with the teen and didn't hold a gun to her, choke her or force her to have sex.

He told prison officials he was being "railroaded by the system". He boasted he's had sex with more than 100 women.

He refused any treatment for sexual deviancy, especially the high intensity treatment that was recommended while he waited for his appeal.

Superior Court Justice Lynne Leitch pointed not just to the brutality of the assaults that put Last in line for the designation, but his disturbing behaviour in prison that showed how difficult he would be to control in the community.

Masturbating while female prison guards were on duty, pasting photos of naked women on his cell floor, harrassing women staffers, impulsivity, anger and intimidating other prisoners were among some of the reports that filled volumes of Crown briefs.

Leitch said Last's behaviour "has done nothing but illustrate that he poses a risk that the public must be protected from."

"If Mr Last becomes amenable to treatment and his condition is manageable in the community, he will be eligible to be considered for release on parole. Unless that occurs, the dangerous offender designation is appropriate and required for the protection of the public," she said.

Austin admitted that given the chance, she might not have forgone the court's protection on her identity.

"Putting yourself out there was the hardest thing ever. I thought this was going to go away in 2005 and 2006...But the whole purpose behind standing up and speaking out was to help people."

"Would I do that again, start to finish? Probably not, but I'm really glad that some people have been helped and this part is over for myself and the other girl."

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