Former radio star Jian Ghomeshi (inset) is not guilty of four sexual assaults and one charge of choking, a judge in Toronto ruled today, citing the “deceptive and manipulative” evidence of his accusers. The charges were laid against the former CBC personality after allegations that he assaulted three women between 2002 and 2003. The judge in the sensational case, William Horkins, made it clear in his ruling (read complete decision after the jump) that a finding of “not guilty” doesn’t mean the incidents didn’t happen. Horkins wrote that his finding “is not the same as deciding in any positive way that these events never happened.” But Horkins had harsh criticism for the accusers, saying he found it impossible to have “sufficient faith in the reliability or sincerity of these complainants.”
A Montreal father, mother and son convicted nearly four years ago of murdering four other family members in an honour killing argue, in an appeal to Ontario’s top court, that they were victims of “cultural stereotyping” and “overwhelmingly prejudicial evidence” that should not have been admitted at their murder trial. In a 110-page document filed with the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Mohammad Shafia, 62 (inset), his wife Tooba, 45, and their son Hamed, 24, claim they’re entitled to a new trial. The document is a concise outline of the evidence and legal argument that lawyers for the three will present at a hearing scheduled for Dec. 14.
Infamous pedophile John Gallienne (inset left), a former Anglican choirmaster and organist in Kingston, Ontario, has been charged with another sex offence involving a choirboy. In April this year, Gallienne was charged by Kingston Police with indecent assault, 20 years after he was first convicted of abusing more than a dozen boys as young as eight. The charge was laid because a man now in his 30s came forward with allegations against Gallienne. The man claims he was sexually assaulted by Gallienne between 1980 and 1982. Now a second person has come forward, a man in his early 40s who was a choirboy at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in the 1970s.
Crown lawyers may be angling to end the prosecutions of two dozen people who were arrested for blockading a federal prison in Kingston last month. “They’re offering diversion,” said lawyer Dan Scully, who represents one of the 23 adults who appeared in court in Kingston Tuesday. The protesters were arrested Aug. 8 and 9 and charged with mischief because they tried to block cattle trucks from hauling the dairy herd out of Frontenac Institution in Kingston. Removal of the herd was key to the government’s plan to shutter six penitentiary farms, including two in Kingston.
It’s probably not a good idea to take your cocaine to court with you, or your cute little pot-filled Easter eggs, either. I’ll let the news release from the Kingston city police department ‘splain the rest. Read it after the jump.
A conviction for first-degree murder, which carries an automatic penalty of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, is not Canada’s harshest prison sentence. In an atmosphere in which law-and-order advocates screech that we’ve grown soft on crime and criminals, you might be surprised to discover that last year judges handed out more of the country’s toughest sentence than at any time in the past three decades.
If a man who represents himself has a fool for a client, and a fool for a lawyer (as the old saying goes), how about a man whose mommy is his lawyer?
There may be a school aspiring “neighbours from hell” attend where you can choose courses such as Trench Digging 101, Garden Hose Flooding and Late-night Illumination. How else to explain the coincidences of modus operandi of two families in Ontario – in Sudbury and Kingston – who used remarkably similar tactics during nasty neighbour feuds that ended up in court.