Former prison employee pleads guilty to role in inmate escape

Corrections Canada employee smuggled cash into prison for inmate who later escaped

A former Corrections Canada employee pleaded guilty to aiding an inmate’s escape in 2015.

Peter Edgar pleaded guilty to one count of permitting or assisting an escape in Red Deer provincial court on Tuesday.

After a 19-month RCMP investigation, Edgar, 61 at the time, was charged last October with two counts of permitting or assisting escape in connection with the escape of Sylvain Martin on April 16, 2015. Martin was serving a 10-year sentence for fraud in Bowden Institution’s minimum security annex at the time.

Edgar worked for CORCAN, a rehabilitation program run by Corrections Canada, when he developed what co-workers called an “inappropriate relationship” with Martin.

Prior to Martin’s escape, Edgar smuggled a cellphone, $5,000 in cash and tobacco into the prison.

Martin used the cash to get a taxi to Calgary after he escaped from the prison. Edgar later paid for a $7,000 limo ride so Martin could return to Quebec.

Edgar later joined Martin in Quebec where the two spent time partying. In all, Edgar gave Martin $100,000, court heard.

Beginning in late April 2015, Edgar took leave from work. He was to return to duty at another institution in April 2016 but did not show up.

Martin was arrested on a Canada-wide warrant and told Quebec police in October 2015 about his connection to Edgar. A statement was given to RCMP in May 2016.

Defence lawyer Robin Snider said Edgar did not know when he smuggled the items into prison for Martin that the inmate was planning an escape.

Edgar was on holiday in the Caribbean when Martin escaped. He got a call about the escape but did not pass information on to the authorities.

Snider said there was more background on what happened but she did not want to get into those details ahead of the preparation of a pre-sentence report. Those reports are used to provide more information on an accused to help the judge in sentencing.

It will likely take eight to 12 weeks for the pre-sentence report to be completed, then a sentencing date will be set.

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