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Bernardo parole denied

UPDATE: 11:50 a.m.

Convicted rapist and killer Paul Bernardo has been denied early release.

A National Parole Board panel at the Millhaven Institution in eastern Ontario made the decision today.

Bernardo has spent more than 25 years of his life sentence behind bars for kidnapping, torturing and killing two teen girls in the early 1990s.

The 54-year-old told the hearing he did dreadful things in the past that he cries over frequently, and argued he has improved himself.

The panel disagreed with the designated dangerous offender, who has been eligible for parole since February.

Bernardo has spent most of his incarceration in maximum-security isolation.


ORIGINAL: 6:30 a.m.

Convicted rapist and killer Paul Bernardo is due to plead for release today.

The 54-year-old Bernardo is expected to argue at a parole hearing that he has improved himself during his 25 years behind bars.

The designated dangerous offender has been eligible for parole since February.

His defence lawyer has said his client plans to take full responsibility for his crimes and express remorse.

A lawyer for the families of his victims says he won't comment until after the hearing in eastern Ontario.

Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of the sadistic murders of two teenaged girls and numerous rapes. He was given life without parole eligibility until he had served 25 years since his arrest in early 1993.

Bernardo's parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers, most of whom will have to watch via a videolink.

Among his crimes, Bernardo and his then-wife Karla Homolka kidnapped, tortured and killed Leslie Mahaffy, 14, of Burlington, Ont., in June 1991 at their home in Port Dalhousie, Ont., before dismembering her body, encasing her remains in cement and dumping them in a nearby lake.

Dubbed the "Scarborough rapist," Bernardo also tortured and killed Kristen French, 15, of St. Catharines, Ont., in April 1992 after keeping her captive for three days.



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