Edmonton sex offender may be moving to Vancouver

A former Edmonton nightclub promoter who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for a series of sexual assaults against women, may soon be moving to a Vancouver halfway house.

Matthew McKnight is said to have been granted day parole last week.

In 2020, he was convicted of five counts of sexual assault against women he met while working. The attacks took place between 2010 and 2016.

The Vancouver Police Department tells CityNews it’s aware he may be moving west to B.C.

“Given his violent and predatory criminal past, we know that people in our community will be unnerved by this offender’s decision to live in Vancouver while on parole,” said Sgt. Steve Addison in a statement.

“Our high-risk offender team has been in contact with parole officers in Edmonton. We’re working with Vancouver parole to conduct a risk assessment and to determine if a wider public warning is required.”

Addison explains the VPD will “respond immediately” if the department becomes aware of any new criminal offences or breaches of McKnight’s release conditions.

Addison’s understanding is McKnight is coming to Vancouver because he may have a family member here.

“[It’s] unknown if he has arrived. [The] VPD is not directly monitoring him at the moment.”

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says he understands the concern when a high-risk offender is released into the community after serving a sentence “for such horrific crimes.”

“If this individual is released to B.C. under conditions set out by the Parole Board of Canada, the Correctional Service of Canada and law enforcement will closely monitor this individual, which may include an advisory to inform the community of this individual’s presence and to make them aware of the conditions of their parole,” Farnworth said.

“Anyone who observes this individual engaging in any activity that could be considered a parole violation is encouraged to call 911 right away. To be clear, any breach of conditions can result in an individual’s return to custody.”

Federal offenders are automatically eligible for parole once they’ve served one-third of their sentence.

McKnight was originally facing 26 counts of sexual and physical assault but was convicted of much less than that.

B.C.’s halfway houses were scrutinized late last year, after a high-risk repeated sex offender, Randall Hopley, walked away from his facility in Vancouver. He was able to cut off his monitoring bracelet and vanish just days before a court date. He was later found and re-arrested.

CityNews has reached out to the Parole Board of Canada and B.C.’s Public Safety Ministry for further comment on McKnight.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today