Kamloops this Week

B.C. woman who set kids on fire granted day parole

Donna Hysop is serving a life sentence after being convicted of second-degree murder and attempted murder

  • Apr. 17, 2018 11:39 a.m.

Kamloops this Week

A Kamloops woman who more than 20 years ago set fire to her two young children — killing her five-year-old daughter and leaving her three-year-old son disfigured and seriously injured — has been granted day parole despite continually maintaining her innocence while behind bars.

Donna Hysop, 50, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of second-degree murder and attempted murder stemming from the attacks in a Juniper Ridge townhouse on March 18, 1997.

The Parole Board of Canada cited Hysop’s refusal to accept responsibility for the incident in denying her request for unescorted temporary absences in December, but has now granted her day parole — meaning she must return to her halfway house each night.

Parole officials also noted “recent concerning behaviour” on Hysop’s file. In January, she became involved in a physical altercation with a fellow inmate. Both were determined to have been “instigators,” according to parole documents.

The documents also touch on Hysop maintaining her innocence and minimizing her role in the arson attacks on her kids.

“File content indicates you may never accept full responsibility for your offending and have not done so for 20 years,” the documents read, noting a clinical report found Hysop’s “claim of innocence and her inability to accept responsibility” were not risk factors for future offending.

“I consider your risk of violence to be relatively low to very low while in custody and I consider your risk, if released to the community, to be relatively low,” the report read.

The report was prepared in December, a month before Hysop got into an altercation while in custody.

“Your denial today is aligned with your denial over the years,” the parole documents state, noting Hysop has “demonstrated no discernible remorse.”

“The gravity of the index offence is indescribable — the death of an innocent child and the permanent harm caused to another is on the most extreme end of severity. The victims have been steadfast in their attendance at hearings and their belief that you ought not to be released. They have indicated they need safeguards put in place to protect them from further harm should you be released.”

While on day parole, Hysop will reside at a halfway house in the Lower Mainland. She will be under conditions prohibiting her from having any contact with victims or victims’ families, including on social media, and will not be allowed within a 100-kilometre radius of the community in which her son now lives.

Hysop will also be barred from being in a position of trust with regard to any child under 14 and must take regular counselling.

Hysop was convicted based largely on confessions she made in the presence of police, firefighters and neighbours. In court, she said her comments were taken out of context.

She has been eligible for parole since 2008, but has had previous requests turned down.

Hysop’s parole status will be reviewed in six months.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

National PTSD awareness ride rolling into Langley

The Rolling Barrage 2018 ride will arrive next Tuesday and overnight in Langley.

Bevy of remarkable birthdays celebrated in Aldergrove

Maudie MacPherson (age 101), Vera Banner (91) and Alice Utas (95)

Looking Back: August 16, 2018

Langley’s history, as told through the files of the Advance.

Throwback Thursday: August 16, 2018

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Langley’s Tbird preps to welcome Mounties for Musical Ride

The equestrian spectacle is coming to Langley Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

VIDEO: LEC hosts job fair to lure new workers

The Langley Events Centre was looking for about 50 employees.

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

Most Read