‘High-risk’ offender who attacked woman on Hamilton trail freed from jail

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Published August 16, 2023 at 5:24 pm

Barrie police issued a community safety advisory Wednesday about Tony Gordon, 30, whom they called a "high-risk offender." COURTESY OF BARRIE POLICE SERVICE
Barrie police issued a community safety advisory Wednesday about Tony Gordon, 30, whom they called a "high-risk offender." COURTESY OF BARRIE POLICE SERVICE

A man convicted of assaulting a female stranger while she was hiking on the Caleb’s Walk trail at Hamilton’s Cootes Paradise is believed to be living in Barrie after he was recently released from prison because he finished serving his sentence. 

Barrie police issued a community safety advisory Wednesday (Aug. 16) about Tony Gordon, 30, whom they called a “high-risk offender.”

Hamilton police Supt. Dave Hennick confirmed to inthehammer.com today (Aug. 16) that Gordon is the same offender convicted of the 2021 assault of the woman in Hamilton. The name of the victim was not made public.

Gordon was recently released from custody and was previously convicted of offences including breaking and entering, trespassing and prowling at night, sexual assault, and assault by choking, suffocation or strangulation.

“This advisory follows careful consideration of all related issues, including privacy concerns,” Barrie police wrote in a press release. “Gordon has completed his most recent sentence, and the Barrie Police Service was notified that he is currently believed to be residing within the city of Barrie.”

Under the Police Services Act, disclosure of personal information is allowed if it “is reasonably believed that the individual poses a significant risk of harm to other persons or property and believes that such disclosure would reduce that risk.”

Tony Gordon was convicted of a "random" 2021 assault in Hamilton. COURTESY OF BARRIE POLICE SERVICE

Tony Gordon was convicted of a “random” 2021 assault in Hamilton. COURTESY OF BARRIE POLICE SERVICE

Barrie police said the following are the conditions of his release:

  • He is not allowed to visit a park, public swimming area, daycare centre, school ground, playground or community centre where persons under the age of 16 years are present or can reasonably be expected to be present.
  • He is forbidden from having any contact – including communicating by any means, with a person who is under the age of 16 years, unless under the supervision of a person whom the court considers appropriate.
  • He is not allowed to seek or obtain any employment or volunteer position in a capacity that involves being in a position of trust or authority towards a person under 16 years of age.
  • He is banned from possessing any weapon or anything designed to be used to cause death or injury or to threaten or intimidate any person.

Police urge the public not to approach Gordon and to call 911 instead if anyone observes him violating any of the terms of his release.

Gordon had punched and choked the woman on Sept. 30, 2021 in Hamilton two days after he had been released from prison. He had 55 convictions on his record then. Someone nearby was able to rescue her as she was being attacked. Gordon fled and was arrested a few days later. He was found with 11.2 grams of meth.

He received a three-year, less-a-day sentence for the assault and breach of probation. The judge took into account a Gladue report, which weighs the impact of systemic barriers for Indigenous individuals who are accused or convicted of crimes.

Gordon, an Anishinabe from Lac Seuil First Nation near Dryden, Ont., had an abusive childhood, even being introduced to cocaine at 15 and drinking daily at 14. His great-grandparents were sent to residential schools.

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