A Hamilton city councillor says that there is “growing concern and fear” among residents after it was revealed that convicted Maple Leaf Gardens sex offender Gordon Stuckless is out of prison and living in a halfway house in the city.

Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr made the comment to CP24 on Wednesday; one day after a lawyer for Stuckless confirmed that his client had been quietly released on parole in mid-December.

“It is the worst news we've heard in this city in a long time. We've spent many years getting a dangerous offenders’ halfway house out of the downtown, getting dangerous offenders out of downtown and certainly this individual is someone that I know many residents are going to feel is just that,” he said. “I don’t know a community in this nation that would want this particular individual.”

Stuckless initially pleaded guilty in 1997 to sexually assaulting 24 boys while he worked as an equipment manager at Maple Leaf Gardens between 1969 and 1988.

He was sentenced to six years in prison but was released on parole in 2001 after serving two-thirds of that sentence. In 2013 he was then arrested again after more victims came forward to report historical offences.

In 2016, he was ultimately convicted of sexually assaulting 18 boys over a period spanning three decades and handed a six-and-a-half year prison sentence. That sentence was later increased to 10 years by the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

As a condition of his parole, Stuckless must refrain from having any contact with minors and must notify his parole officer of any contact he has with anybody who is in charge of or who supervises minors. He is also required to continue to participate in a chemical castration program, as he has done for the last two decades.

Farr, however, said that those conditions aren’t providing much comfort to residents.

“The reality is when you have a monster sleeping under your bed it is hard to get to sleep at night,” he said.

Police say they are taking steps to monitor Stuckless

Hamilton police have told CTV News Toronto that they are aware that Stuckless is living in a halfway house in downtown Hamilton and are “taking appropriate actions to monitor him.”

That said several residents who spoke with CP24 on Wednesday are nonetheless expressing concern about his presence in the community.

“I feel like we should have been notified and he should probably be in jail; not walking the streets of Hamilton,” one resident said. “I have two kids and I don’t think it is a good thing at all.”

“I don’t think a pedophile should be released into an area where there is children,” volunteered another.