Ex-Hells biker now a business student

Pierre Provencher (second from right, in yellow shirt) photographed with Pierre Laurin, Alain...

Pierre Provencher (second from right, in yellow shirt) photographed with Pierre Laurin, Alain Dubois, Normand Robitaille and Stephane Jarry. (QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:36 PM ET

Normand Robitaille, one of the most powerful Hells Angels in Quebec, recently obtained permission to leave prison to take business courses.

The Parole Board of Canada made the decision following a hearing at the minimum security prison where the ex-biker has been held since 2003.

Robitaille is serving a 17-year sentence for drug trafficking, gangsterism and conspiracy to commit murder.

Police say Robitaille is no longer a biker and he told the parole board on Monday that he left the Hells in 2009 and wanted a "life change."

Commissioners Marie-Claude Frenette and Denis Couillard had made it clear Robitaille had "a big uphill battle" to persuade them to grant him unescorted leave.

They cited his "major" role at the centre of the Hells Angels during the bloody 1990s biker war that claimed more than 160 lives, including those of several bystanders.

A 2003 psychiatrist's report found Robitaille to be "narcissistic and antisocial" with a "moderate risk to reoffend."

But commissioners on Monday said the twice-weekly classes and visits with relatives would help his rehabilitation and were "not unacceptable" for society. The board granted Robitaille's parole request at the conclusion of the hearing.

He completed a bachelor's correspondence degree in communications while behind bars and disavowed his biker past before the parole board.

"It didn't make sense," he said of his life near the top of the motorcycle gang. "I realize the harm that I've caused."


Videos

Photos