John Julius Obed

Residents in the Elizabeth Avenue and Riverview Drive area of Happy Valley-Goose Bay are angered and shocked to find out that notorious sex offender John Julius Obed has moved into their neighbourhood.
Even prior to his 10-year sentence, Obed had violent tendencies. Between 1991 and 2004, he was convicted of 35 crimes, including four sexual assaults and four assaults.

Anonymous Hamilton Ontario's photo.

Residents angered, afraid, after sexual offender moves into neighbourhood

Derek Montague
Published on May 13, 2015

Residents in the Elizabeth Avenue and Riverview Drive area of Happy Valley-Goose Bay are angered and shocked to find out that notorious sex offender John Julius Obed has moved into their neighbourhood.

John Julius Obed — a convicted sexual offender — is living in a boarding house in a residential neighbourhood in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Three women who live in the neighbourhood say they fear for their safety.

Three women shared their concerns with The Labradorian. Out of fear of retaliation, all three asked to remain anonymous and so they will be referred to as Jane, Mary and Lisa.

They were angry and disappointed that no one was warned that Obed was moving into their neighbourhood.

“I was horrified knowing a very dangerous person was living a few doors away and I was also disappointed that a public memo wasn’t put out there to inform us he was living in the community,” said Jane.

“As for my neighbourhood, in my opinion, members of the RCMP detachment should have gone door to door to warn us. This is not something to be taken lightly. … I understand (his) time has been served, however he is a very dangerous criminal with a lengthy record …”

Obed was released from Dorchester Penitentiary on March 19 after completing a 10-year sentence for sexual assault and flew back to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, where he had lived previously.

Upon arrival, however, he was arrested by the RCMP for allegedly breaking two of the 22 conditions he must abide by.

Court hearings regarding the alleged breaches were set over more than 10 times, until Obed was finally released from custody May 6 after he pleaded guilty to one of the breaches. The Crown dropped the other charge.

Obed moved into a boarding house on Riverview Drive and it took less than a day for the news to reach the neighbours.

Even prior to his 10-year sentence, Obed had violent tendencies. Between 1991 and 2004, he was convicted of 35 crimes, including four sexual assaults and four assaults.

 

Monitored

Happy Valley-Goose Bay RCMP Cpl. Rick Mills said the RCMP doesn’t warn the public every time a convicted felon moves into a new residence, but people who are released from prison on conditions are monitored.

“We have access to information on everyone that’s on all kinds of court orders …,” he said. “We have access to that, and we have a street team that enforces those conditions.”

Ever since Mary found out about Obed moving into the boarding house, she has been gripped by paranoia and fear.

“I felt afraid,” she said. “I put additional locks on my doors and made sure everything is locked tight at all times.

She said she doesn’t even feel safe going for a run in her neighbourhood now.

“I was training for an upcoming marathon; I run every day, usually, but I cannot run in my area at all with the fear of him around. … I feel paranoid that he’s always watching, because predators usually do very secretly and get you when you least expect it.”

Mary has given her son stricter rules to follow when he is outside.

“My child can only go out if he stays around the house,” said Mary. “If he is to ride his bike to another area, I have implored him to use the buddy system with a 20-minute check-in. It’s definitely not the same feeling in our neighbourhood.”

Lisa is battling similar feelings of anxiety. She, too, is a mother of young children.

“My security is lost; (I feel) very threatened and unsafe,” she said. “I won’t allow my two young daughters to play free now from our home … because of Obed’s close living arrangements and how often he walks the streets.”

Both Mary and Jane said they are thinking of starting a petition, demanding that Obed be removed from the neighbourhood.

Mary has also complained to the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, hoping that the municipality might be able to help.

“I really would like him removed from our area of residence,” said Mary. “Myself and many of the women of our neighbourhood feel the same way. We are equally afraid. I have tried to contact the town manager, but have heard no word back. I have reported this to our town constable and he is taking my complaint to the RCMP.”

The owner of the boarding house where Obed is living told The Labradorian that Obed was scheduled to move out by noon on May 11, but on May 12 she said Obed would be staying. She declined further comment.

The Labradorian attempted to speak to Obed on May 13, but he declined.

derek.montague@thelabradorian.ca

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Provided by the Sexual Abuse Network of Canada