A 27-year-old man who went on a four-day crime spree last spring, including a series of sexual assaults at Burnaby’s Metrotown mall, was supposed to have been at a Surrey recovery house at the time.
Hayden McCorriston was transported from the Vancouver Island Correctional Centre to the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam on March 30, 2022, according to facts presented in court.
He was on bail on multiple charges out of Campbell River, and he was supposed to stay at a Surrey recovery house – but his stay at the rehab facility lasted less than an hour.
The following day, he launched a crime spree in Burnaby, New Westminster and Vancouver that lasted four days and included five sexual assaults, one indecent act, one assault by choking, two other assaults and one robbery (see timeline below).
“It encompassed several days of basically chaos. I don’t say chaos lightly because he was all over. It was an out of control situation,” Crown prosecutor Kathryn Ford said during McCorriston’s sentencing hearing in Vancouver provincial court on March 13.
McCorriston had pleaded guilty in December to 15 charges – 10 related to the Lower Mainland incidents last spring and five from Campbell River in January 2022.
Ford said McCorriston was on bail or probation during all but one of the offences, and noted the Burnaby and Vancouver offences happened in broad daylight.
“The victims were all in places where they should have been able to conduct their business without fear of interference,” she said.
McCorriston’s lawyer, Cheyne Hodson said substance abuse was “at play” in all of the crimes, and his client has limited recall of the incidents.
Hodson acknowledged the offences were serious but said his client’s moral culpability was lowered because of his difficult background.
He said McCorriston spent most of his life in foster care and has fetal alcohol syndrome, which affects his impulse control.
Hodson said McCorriston “very much needed post-foster-care follow-up” when he aged out of foster care but “slipped through the cracks.”
McCorriston is hoping to access programs in the federal prison system that will help.
“He’s hoping the next stage of his life sees him in a better place and with the appropriate supports. He’s hoping to get programming in the federal system to guide him, hopefully in the right direction,” Hodson said.
McCorriston has been in custody since April 3, 2022, and B.C. provincial court Judge Gregory Rideout sentenced him to another three years in prison.
Rideout said he could see McCorriston is dealing with a “constellation of problems” and advised him to take advantage of the programs in prison.
“You’re going to need a cosmic change by getting into some comprehensive counselling that provides to you some guidance with respect to drug use and maintenance to avoid that,” he said.
Timeline of events
March 30, 2022
-McCorriston arrives from Vancouver Island Correctional Centre to Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam; met by recovery house staff member
-leaves less than an hour after arriving at Surrey recovery house, saying he is returning to Vancouver Island
March 31, 2022
12:56 p.m. McCorriston grabs woman's buttocks in the Real Canadian Superstore diaper aisle
1 p.m. steals two pairs of Versace sunglasses from the Sunglass Hut
April 1, 2022
8:30 a.m. McCorriston returns to Superstore, walks past employee and says “You’re hot.”
8:54 a.m. slaps buttocks of woman in the health and beauty aisle, proceeds to jewelry section and slaps buttocks of employee he called “hot” earlier
-slaps buttocks of woman in the main part of the mall, flees to bus loop when woman threatens to throw coffee on him
9:15 a.m. gropes Station Square Dollarama employee while she is balanced on a ladder
12:30 p.m. steals two 750 millilitre bottles of raspberry vodka from Columbia Street liquor store in New Westminster
1 p.m. “roughly” grabs woman’s buttocks on Granville SkyTrain station escalator, saying “With an ass like that, what do you expect?”
2 p.m. exposes himself to woman alone with him in a Pacific Centre Mall elevator in Vancouver
6:10 p.m. enters salon on Kingsway near Fraser Street and steals two cell phones; when confronted, pushes two female employees down a hallway, slaps one employee’s buttocks twice, shoves her repeatedly against a wall and chokes her
April 3, 2022
-McCorriston seen by Metrotown mall security grabbing a pack of cigarettes from a couple and flee the mall
8:45 a.m. grabs cash from 80-year-old man withdrawing money from a Metrotown CIBC ATM and pushes him
-Metrotown mall security guard arrests him; punches security guard in the face, spits in security guard’s face three of four times
April 5, 2022
-A coordinated investigation by Burnaby RCMP, Vancouver Police Department and the Metro Vancouver Transit Police identifies McCorriston as suspect in all incidents