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A man who has maintained his innocence since he was convicted of killing a toddler nearly 37 years ago in British Columbia has been granted bail while his appeal continues.

Phillip Tallio pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 22-month-old Delavina Mack, six months after she was killed in Bella Coola in April 1983, when Tallio was 17.

Justice Elizabeth Bennett of the B.C. Appeal Court says Tallio will be released to a halfway house operated by the John Howard Society in the Lower Mainland, and a ban prevents the name and location of the facility from being published.

Bennett also ordered that he have no contact with anyone under age 16 without the presence of an adult and that he not be in public areas frequented by minors.

Tallio will also be required to abide by a curfew that will be loosened over three months.

Justice David Frankel of the B.C. Court of Appeal told a case management hearing after bail was granted that five weeks of preliminary arguments are expected to start Jan. 20 before an appeal is scheduled to get underway on March 30.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2020.