At the start of the sentencing hearing for Travis Vader, the man facing several charges took the stand in an Edmonton courtroom – and spoke about the conditions he had been living in at the Remand Centre.

The Crown is asking the court to put Vader behind bars for three to four years for a dozen charges, including possession of stolen property, theft, and arson.

The defense is asking for less time in jail, and on Tuesday the defendant took the stand – and spoke about living conditions at the Remand Centre.

"I was by myself for six months straight with no other contact with anybody," Vader said in his testimony, referring to the months he spent in administrative segregation, the equivalent of solitary confinement, with two half-hour breaks every 24 hours.

Vader said he'd requested to be transferred out of a unit that houses, what he called the ‘worst of the worst', such as gang leaders and fighters.

The defendant also said he bore the brunt of continued taunting from other prisoners, who reportedly unleashed a series of verbal assaults, yelling things such as: ‘What did you do with the old couple?', and ‘What did you do with the bodies?'

Police consider Vader a suspect in the disappearance of elderly St. Albert couple Lyle and Marie McCann, the sentencing hearing is for charges unrelated to the case.

Vader also testified other inmates targeted him with ‘feces bombs' at least three times.

"I had to clean it up myself," Vader said.

In his testimony, he stated his request for a transfer was ignored until a lawyer became involved.

Under cross examination, Vader said shortly after he was placed in the Remand Centre, he had wanted to be put in the general population at the facility.

However, later records of letters he wrote state he asked to be placed in protective custody.

The sentencing hearing will continue for the next two days.

With files from David Ewasuk