Notorious Nunavut wife-killer denied parole

“Do not show leniency to Pat Anablak”


An aerial view of the Pittsburgh Institution near Kingston, Ont. where Pat Anablak's parole hearing took place Aug. 23. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CORRECTIONS CANADA)

An aerial view of the Pittsburgh Institution near Kingston, Ont. where Pat Anablak’s parole hearing took place Aug. 23. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CORRECTIONS CANADA)

Pat Anablak, sentenced in 2008 to 10 years in jail for killing his common-law partner, Sylvia Lyall, 41, in June 2004, won’t be getting out on early parole.

That’s due, in part, to a long and poignant statement delivered by her niece, Janet Brewster of Iqaluit, at Anablak’s Aug. 23 parole hearing at a minimum-security jail near Kingston,Ont.

“Do not show leniency to Pat Anablak, he certainly never did to Sylvia or anyone else,” she said.

“Sylvia’s breath has stopped — I beg you to not allow him the opportunity to take another breath of human life.”

When Anablak was sentenced in 2008 to the equivalent of a 15-year prison sentence for manslaughter, in connection with the killing of his common-law spouse nearly four years previously, without parole, he would stay in jail for 10 years, until 2018.

But Anablak became eligible to seek early parole from the Pittsburgh Institution, a minimum-security facility located about 23 kilometres northeast of Kingston.

Brewster and other family members travelled from the North to the parole hearing so they could deliver statements about why they believe Lyall’s killer should not be freed from jail.

“Sylvia couldn’t be here with us today to tell us what happened, because she was murdered in 2004,” Brewster said Aug. 23 at the parole hearing. “Today, through us, I hope her silenced voice speaks. She was the mother of five beautiful children who she never got to see grow up.

“I raised her youngest son while she missed her children’s birthdays, graduations, a marriage, and the births of many beautiful grandchildren.”

On June 20, 2004, the day she was last seen, Lyall and Anablak planned to go to Sylvia Grinnell Park in Iqaluit for a barbecue, but didn’t because they were drinking.

In court statements, Anablak recalled waking up on the bathroom floor afterwards and finding Lyall lying dead in the bedroom of her Iqaluit apartment.

Anablak said he prayed over Lyall’s body and drank for two days.

Police found her body on June 22, 2004 after worried family members phoned and asked them to check on her.

In her Aug. 23 statement, Brewster called her aunt “the trapped victim of an exploitive master manipulator.”

“In her relationship with Pat, he made her into his victim, oppressed by this man that relentlessly broke his target down, humiliated her, and repeatedly abused her physically, emotionally and mentally. For years, he ruthlessly denied her life and continually showed no remorse for his actions. With his repeated behaviour, there was clearly no attempt nor a desire to be rehabilitated.

“Today, we are considering his release just nine years after Sylvia’s murder because Pat Anablak is professing he’s changed. How is this possible?”

Brewster said she couldn’t understand how he could possibly be rehabilitated and allowed freedom — a freedom that he denied her aunt, “when he continues to show us he is an unashamed reprobate, who until incarcerated practiced as a way of life relentless sadistic abusive behavior, had complete lack of empathy, no remorse and in my opinion signs of narcissistic psychotic behaviour.”

Brewster also slammed the justice system for allowing Anablak to be convicted on a lesser charge of manslaughter.

“Originally charged with first degree murder, he deliberately manipulated the pace of the course of justice by pulling every trick in the book to bring delay, including firing his lawyer at the conclusion of the Crown’s case and causing a mistrial,” she said.

At the time, Anablak accused his lawyer of being incompetent. This lawyer has since become a respected judge in Nunavut,” Brewster said.

“Pat, as a result of his tactics and cunning strategy, was rewarded with a manslaughter plea and time and a half for the delays that he caused the courts,” Brewster said.

Anablak “relentlessly and maliciously stalked Lyall” and lured her back every time she got away, Brewster said.

“He victimized her, beat her, belittled her, and slowly gnawed away the life she should have had, and laughably he’s found God now that he’s killed her,” Brewster said.

“His potential release puts my family, our communities and me at risk — how can we be assured he would not reoffend? I’m not sure anything could ever assure me of that.”

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