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Man accused of killing his girlfriend weeks after release from prison has history of rape and violence: parole papers

Less than six weeks after Philip Toner served a five-year sentence for raping a 15-year-old girl, he was charged with killing his girlfriend, Brenda Ware, and throwing her body alongside the highway just across the border from Alberta, Côté BC. CBC News has obtained parole documents showing the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) was gravely concerned about the risk toner poses to women given its long criminal history of violence against girlfriends. Two separate assessments of Toner while in prison found that not only did he have a moderate risk of committing spousal violence, but also a moderate to high risk of sexual reoffending. This past December was the third and final time that Toner’s parole was revoked due to criminal behavior during his release before his sentence expired on March 29. After that date, the PBC had no control over Toner or the conditions imposed on it. Now, Toner faces a second degree murder charge, accused of killing Ware, 35, somewhere in southern Alberta before transporting his body to Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park. “Losing a child is one thing, being murdered is another,” said her mother, Karla Ware, from her home just outside Cremona, 80 kilometers northwest of Calgary. “It’s like our future has been stolen.” The Fire Brenda’s parents say they knew something was wrong on May 5 when they got a call saying their reliable daughter hadn’t shown up for work. Brenda lived just outside of Cremona, on the family acreage, on the farm where her mother grew up. On the way home, Karla checked the ditches for her daughter’s Jeep. But when she got home, the situation was much worse than she had imagined. Brenda’s front door was wide open, her house was on fire and she was gone. Ware, 35, was a hairdresser in southern Alberta. She had started dating Toner just weeks before she was killed. (Submitted by The Ware Family) The Search Kim Taylor, a close family friend of the Wares, who runs an organization that finds missing animals, has mobilized all available resources to begin a search. She had Jeep groups, quad parties, helicopters, and people on horseback scouring all the main and secondary highways. Taylor, who described Brenda as a second daughter, also spread the word on social media and soon, she says, tips started to “pour in.” She shared everything with the RCMP. Brenda’s body was found in British Columbia northeast of Radium the day after she went missing. Police allege Toner left the victim and his SUV by the side of the road before hitchhiking to the Okanagan area, where he was arrested days later. After his arrest, the RCMP returned Toner to Alberta. He will appear in Didsbury court next week. Toner rape is no stranger to the court system. In April 2015, he was on drugs with a family member and a 15-year-old girl when asked to drive the teenager to another location, according to the December PBC ruling. The couple quit and when she rejected Toner’s advances he gave her more medicine until she was incapacitated. Then he raped her. In a victim impact statement filed at Toner’s sentencing hearing for the sexual assault conviction, the girl’s mother wrote that Toner’s crime broke the family apart. She said her actions would “haunt” her daughter for the rest of her life. Toner saw his parole revoked for a third and final time in December 2020 when the Parole Board of Canada deemed him too risky for the community to be released. His term expired at the end of March. (Parole Board of Canada) Disruptive, Abusive and Violent Toner was sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assault and other offenses. While in prison, Toner was found to be disruptive, disrespectful, verbally abusive and violent, according to the PBC ruling. He was kicked out of a sex offender program, tried to hit staff on the head, and argued with other inmates. The potential for successful reintegration of toner into the community was considered low. According to the ruling, during the hearing, Toner told council he had “the worst human skills that anyone will see” and a “problem” with emotions. Every time Toner was released he was bound by a host of conditions including staying away from girls, drugs, alcohol, and reporting all relationships with women. Between June 2019 and December 2020, Toner was released from prison just three times to reoffend and his parole is revoked each time due to issues with women, drugs and violence, according to the document. “The Wild Animal” At a parole hearing, held on December 7, 2020, Toner told council members that he “would never hurt anyone on his own accord.” “You said the wild animal you were has been dead for years,” wrote a board member identified only as K. Scott. Toner, who has a history of domestic violence, was at the time considered a moderate risk of committing violence against a spouse, according to the Domestic Violence Risk Assessment. The board wrote that he confined one of his ex-girlfriends against her will, then criminally harassed her for months after their split. Another assessment prepared before his release found that he was at moderate to high risk of sexual recidivism. The assessment does not appear to be dated. Ultimately, the board concluded that Toner was too high a risk to be in the community and revoked her statutory release. Ware was last seen by her parents on their property near Cremona on May 5. (Submitted by the Ware Family) Fear of breaking up Brenda’s parents had never heard of Toner until he became a person of interest and then a suspect in her murder. Don and Karla call Brenda their angel; a daughter and a friend who were hoping to find a life partner. “I think she was looking for a man like her grandfather or father and just couldn’t find him,” Karla said. Taylor says Brenda only mentioned Toner once in passing, about a month before her death. But in recent weeks, Taylor says Brenda had told a few barber clients that she wanted to break up with her boyfriend but was afraid for his safety. Brenda, said Taylor, was “confident and so innocent.” “If there was a human bear, it was Brenda.” “Her life was so good and she wanted everyone to feel that way,” Taylor said. “She was extremely nourishing… I never saw this angry girl.” During the warmer months, Ware could be found playing baseball or on the golf course where she played or framed for her father who she was incredibly close to. “This person who took his life, he doesn’t really understand what he took,” Taylor said. “He was someone special.”


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