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Victoria murderer denied parole request for substance treatment

Scott Ian Mackay convicted of killing 20-year-old UVic student in 1989
Convicted Victoria murderer Scott Ian Mackay was denied day parole in a written decision by the Parole Board of Canada Aug. 24. (Cliff MacArthur/

The Parole Board of Canada has said ‘no’ once again to a day parole request by a Victoria man convicted in 1989 of murdering a 20-year-old Saanich woman.

Scott Ian Mackay, 58, is serving a life sentence for the second-degree murder of Marguerite Telesford. Telesford’s body was never found, but her broken ear muffs and tufts of hair were discovered on Mt. Douglas Cross Road next to three patches of blood, a shotgun shell and a pry bar in January 1987. When police later searched Mackay’s truck, they found a pompom attached to the undercarriage with hairs matching those at the crime scene.

Mackay has made numerous parole requests in the decades since, his most recent one seeking day parole to attend a 90-day treatment program for substance abuse on the Lower Mainland.

In its written decision from Aug. 24, the board called this “a difficult case” as it appears Mackay’s risk/needs have improved over time and he has high motivation. But it listed a number of concerns, not least of which was his lack of addressing the roots of his anger towards women.

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It also referenced a professional risk assessment by a psychologist that found sexual deviancy, not substance abuse, was the bigger element affecting his potential to re-offend.

“…although sex workers are likely to be at particular risk, any woman that you encounter is potentially at risk for future sexual violence,” the decision quoted from Mackay’s psychologist. Mackay was on bail for a 12-year sexual assault and unlawful confinement sentence when he murdered Telesford. He also has a history of impaired driving and assault charges.

Noting that MacKay is sober and has been attending Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous programs while in prison, the board questioned his need for day parole to go elsewhere. The focus, they argued, should be on reducing MacKay’s risk of re-offending sexual violence against women.

For that reason, the board denied his request.

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