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Accuser motivated by money, argues Constable Scott Terry’s defence lawyer
OSHAWA -- A woman who accuses a Durham cop of sexually assaulting her more than a decade ago is lying in court to ensure a payoff from a lawsuit she’s launched, a defence lawyer has asserted.
Defence lawyer Danielle Robitaille accused the woman of outright perjury, at one point tendering photos of her engaging in sex acts with another woman to prove her point.
“You are the kind of liar who makes things up as she goes along,” Ms. Robitaille said to the woman, who alleges she was sexually exploited by Durham police Constable Scott Andrew Terry 14 years ago, when she was 16. Ms. Robitaille accused the woman of tailoring her testimony at Const. Terry’s trial to ensure a conviction so that she’ll be successful in a $2 million lawsuit she’s filed against the officer and Durham Regional Police.
“You have a financial stake in this prosecution,” Ms. Robitaille said Wednesday. “That’s money you’re counting on.”
“I’m not counting on it,” the wom an, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, shot back. “The money I could care less about; that’s not the point.”
Const. Terry, a 28-year veteran of the Durham police, has pleaded not guilty to five charges including sexual assault, breach of trust and making and possessing child pornography. The Crown alleges that Const. Terry, who first encountered the complainant when she was busted for shoplifting in 2000, exploited the girl.
Instead of processing the shoplifting charge he offered the teen a room in his house and then subjected her to an escalating campaign of sexual activity that began with flirtatious comments and progressed to nude photographs, sexual touching and eventually rape, court has heard.
The woman, now 30, testified she complied with Const. Terry’s demands, including participating in sex with other women, because she feared he would resurrect the shoplifting charge or frame her for other crimes. She testified she lived at Const. Terry’s house from June of 2000 to February of 2001, and that she never returned after that.
The woman, who began testifying Monday, said she waited until 2011 to come forward with her allegations because she feared Const. Terry would be protected by his police brothers.
Ms. Robitaille worked meticulously at highlighting what she characterized as inconsistencies and omissions in the woman’s evidence, an exercise that culminated in her producing something of a bombshell -- pictures of the complainant and Const. Terry’s then-wife, engaging in oral sex.
Ms. Robitaille suggested the pictures were taken in late 2001 -- long after the woman said she fled the house -- and that they depict consensual sex, an encounter the woman failed to reveal to investigators when she disclosed her allegations in 2011.
“You omitted it because it was consensual,” Ms. Robitaille suggested. “You knew it would hurt your case.”
“It was not consensual,” the woman replied. “I’ve never had any consensual relationship with a woman; I don’t desire it. It’s disgusting.”
“You are perjuring yourself before the court,” Ms. Robitaille charged at one point.
“I never went back, and I never had consensual sex,” the woman insisted.
The trial continues before Superior Court Justice Bruce Glass in Oshawa.
AJAX -- A Canadian Oscar contender is screened in Ajax on March 5.
The Ajax Film Circuit presents Gabrielle at the Ajax Cineplex Odeon.
“This film, which is Canada’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2014 Academy Awards, is a stunning, tender film about a developmentally challenged young woman’s quest for independence and sexual freedom,” states a press release. “The musically talented Gabrielle (played by Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, who has Williams Syndrome in real life) finds love with Martin, a fellow choir member and valiantly tries to prove that she can be independent. This is a deeply moving story of difference, dignity and tolerance and, above all, a love story.”
See the film at 7 p.m. at 248 Kingston Rd. E. (at Salem Road), Ajax.
Circuit films are shown one Wednesday a month from September through May.
Tickets are $7 in advance at the Ajax Public Library’s Main Branch or $7.50 at the theatre on film night. You don’t have to be a member to see the films.
For more information on the circuit, or to be added to the circuit e-mail list, contact Barry at email@example.com.
Soprano soloist guest in Whitby
DURHAM -- The Durham Youth Orchestra welcomes soprano Bethany Horst to its next concert.
The March 1 concert is at Hebron Christian Reformed Church, 5250 Anderson St. N., Whitby, at 7:30 p.m.
“We are thrilled to have Bethany Horst and the O’Neill and Port Perry high school choirs singing in our March 1 concert,” says music director John Beaton. “Ms. Horst has appeared in numerous productions with opera companies across Canada and was top Canadian and third overall in the prestigious Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition at Carnegie Hall in New York City. As well, she was twice honoured as the District Winner and Regional Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions.”
The concert’s repertoire includes movements from Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Bach’s Erbarme Dich, mein Gott from his St. Matthew Passion, unaccompanied choral works and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
For tickets or information call 905-728-6173 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dundas Real McCoys and Stoney Creek Generals meet in other semi
WHITBY -- The Whitby Dunlops have become, for a brief spell anyway, fans of the team they’ve learned to hate in the Allan Cup Hockey league.
It won’t last past the first round of the playoffs, mind you, but should the Dunlops take care of their own business against the Brantford Blast in one semifinal, and the Dundas Real McCoys are able to defeat the Stoney Creek Generals in the other, then Whitby would earn a berth at the Allan Cup national championship this year.
With the tournament being held in Dundas, two spots are available to Ontario teams, and one of them guaranteed to the Real McCoys, the team that meets them in the final would get that berth. Should Stoney Creek upset Dundas in the first round, then only the team that wins the championship would move on.
“Everyone has played really well in the last month, which is what you hope to see at this time of the year,” said Dunlops coach Mike Posavad, who is taking nothing for granted. “It’ll be good for the league. It’s going to be a great playoffs.”
The Real McCoys have bolstered their lineup with a few former NHL players and were able to take first place away from the Dunlops, primarily on the strength of a 7-3 win in Whitby last Thursday.
But the top four teams were fairly close in the standings, with Dundas (18-4-0-2) finishing one point ahead of Whitby (18-5-0-1), five ahead of Brantford (16-7-0-1) and eight up on Stoney Creek (14-8-1-1).
“We feel we’re as competitive as anybody,” Posavad said. “You just have to peak and do the right things at the right time. Anyone can win. We’re just hoping that it’s us.”
The Blast jumped out to a quick start this season, winning the first eight games, but slipped in the second half. Head-to-head play reflected that, as Brantford won the first two meetings and Whitby the final two.
“Brantford’s been a premier team in this league and I don’t expect that to be any different this series,” Posavad said. “They have a lot of experience, they’re fast, they’ve got good defence and their goaltending is outstanding. What we really have to do is concentrate on our strengths, which is our speed, try to keep pressure in the other team’s end, but you always have to be ready.”
The Dunlops are led offensively by first-year player John Scrymgeour, who had three goals and six points in a 12-0 romp over Welland in Saturday’s season finale and ended up tied atop the league scoring leaders with 49 points in 18 games, including 21 goals.
Patrick Jobb, Shane Terry, Brett McConnachie and Peter MacKellar are also among the league leaders in points, but Posavad recognizes success may rely on new goalie Ryan Gibb, a former Oshawa General who had five wins and one shootout loss in six starts since joining the team.
“He’s a competitor and we looking forward to seeing him do his thing in the net,” Posavad said.
The best-of-seven series opens in Brantford Friday with the next two in Whitby, on Saturday and Tuesday.
Whitby Dunlops vs. Brantford Blast
Game 1: Friday, Feb. 28 in Brantford, 7:45 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, March 1 at Iroquois Park, 6:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, March 4 at Iroquois Park, 8 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, March 7 in Brantford, 7:45 p.m.
x-Game 5: Saturday, March 8 at Iroquois Park, 6:30 p.m.
x-Game 6: Friday, March 14 in Brantford, 7:45 p.m.
x-Game 7: Sunday, March 16 at Iroquois Park, time TBD
Canadian junior team captain getting hot again with OHL playoffs looming
OSHAWA -- Any thoughts that Scott Laughton was drawing off the energy of Canada’s Olympic gold medal win earlier in the day were quickly shot down by the Oshawa Generals star on Sunday night.
He was feeding off something, to be sure, but it was a good night’s rest that was more important to Laughton, who turned in a stellar three-goal, four-point effort in a 7-2 romp over the Kingston Frontenacs at the General Motors Centre.
“I’m not much of a guy that wakes up early,” said Laughton, who caught only the tail end of Canada’s efficient 3-0 win over Sweden Sunday morning. “I wanted to get good rest for this game tonight and it paid off.”
Indeed it did.
Laughton, who was captain of Canada’s world junior team this year, scored his third hat trick of the season and fifth of his OHL career on the strength of three pin-point shots.
He opened the scoring on the power play midway through the first period, ripping home a rebound high to Matt Mahalak’s stick side, then scored the final two on booming slap shots, one to the glove side through a crowd and the other off the cross bar after he intercepted a Kingston clearing attempt.
“The legs were a little bit tight at the beginning so I didn’t know what to expect, but when you get a goal early there, I think you feed off of it, and every time I’ve scored in the first period this year, I’ve felt really good,” explained Laughton. “It was a really good team win.”
It was the third win of the weekend for the Generals, and second over Kingston, all but wrapping up first place in the East Division and Eastern Conference. Oshawa (39-16-0-5) has moved 15 points ahead of Kingston (32-22-2-2) in the division and 14 up on Sudbury (30-20-3-6) in the conference.
“Our goal has obviously changed since the start of the year,” said coach D.J. Smith, who expected to be fighting for a playoff spot. “But we know the playoffs are what count. We’ve got to try to lock this up, the Eastern Conference, and then that we keep rolling right in through the playoffs.”
Smith has all hands on deck right now, with three lines playing well, six solid defencemen and two hot goalies. But he knows it’s Laughton who stirs the drink, even in the shut-down role he’s been given.
“Since he’s taken on the role of the shut-down guy, he also forces the other team’s top players to play defence,” Smith said. “It’s a lot easier to play defence when you’re in the offensive zone. He’s committing to defence and the offence is coming to him.
“When he plays like that there’s likely not a better player in the league.”
Laughton admitted he experienced somewhat of a letdown after he returned from Sweden and the world junior championships, where Canada finished a disappointing fourth. He’s back up to full speed now, though, and has moved into the top-10 in league scoring with 37 goals and 80 points in just 48 games.
On Monday he was named the OHL player of the week on the strength of four goals and seven points in four games.
“After world juniors I kind of caught myself cheating and not playing as well on defence,” he explained. “As soon as I was put in the role to play other teams top lines, I started taking pride in it and it was good for me. When other top lines try to cheat for offence, that’s when you go.
“Everything’s coming together and we’ve got to keep moving forward,” he added of the team in general. “We can’t look back on this weekend and glide into next weekend. We’ve got to come out with a bang and play like we lost one.
“We want to finish strong going into playoffs.”
After almost 20 years, it’s high time for a further reduction of regional council, one that will also create a body more representative of Durham’s municipalities, including Ajax.
Ajax voters can have their say on the matter. Ajax council Monday night approved a question to be put on the municipal election ballot in October. It will ask residents if they support their local council asking for a smaller regional council. At the same time, the re-jigging would see seats distributed based on each municipality’s population.
Asking is the key word here as the decision lies at the regional level, not with Ajax council.
And Ajax has been leading the charge on the issue, twice trying to have it dealt with by the Region, only to be rebuffed.
Ajax officials feel the Town is grossly under-represented at the Region and there is substance to the argument. The last time the regional council make-up was changed was in 1996, a reduction from 32 to 28 councillors. At the time, there were roughly 65,000 residents. Today, there are some 110,000 citizens of Ajax. By comparison, Oshawa's population, around 150,000 people, has crept only marginally higher. Yet Ajax still has just three regional council members while Oshawa has eight.
As we have noted, council’s size is out of step with reality. When it was created 40 years ago, the concern that the rural, less populated municipalities would be at a disadvantage given there is far more people in the south was a big one. Thus the north was given two regional councillors each. They now represent just over 50,000 people. Again, Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock should have just one regional member and Oshawa should lose at least two or three.
And in the shuffle, Ajax should gain a regional council position and council’s size could easily be reduced by at least two if not three or four members.
This would make the system fairer and regional council a bit less costly to taxpayers.
A previous report at regional council noted Durham’s council’s 28 members represent around 608,000 people. In Peel Region, 24 councillors represent almost 1.3 million and York Region, with a population of just over one million people, has 20 councillors.
Durham Regional council can and should clearly be smaller and more representative. Further, there should be a mechanism in place to regularly, maybe every 10 years, review the size and make-up of council.
Say it with a tick of your ballot this fall.
-- Ajax News Advertiser
Most of the time, people go about their business in downtown Uxbridge without giving any thought to the brook that passes beneath Brock Street. And it’s hard to imagine that the benign-looking, meandering little brook could turn into raging flood waters leaving the downtown awash in disaster should a big storm strike.
But the flooding danger is very real. The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority previously identified the Uxbridge Brook culvert as a flood risk, noting the pipe will not be able to withstand a regional storm. If a big storm were to brew, it would seem people in downtown Uxbridge would not be able to help but think of the brook, should flood waters begin to rise.
Uxbridge though, has now identified a federal funding program that might be able to make the $10-million cost of replacing the culvert easier to bear. Under the Building Canada fund, one-third of the cost could be picked up by Ottawa, leaving the Province to pay a third and the Township to pay the remainder.
While replacing a culvert doesn’t sound very sexy, this project could contain an element of excitement: consideration in the past has been given to “opening up” the brook so that it flows through an open channel downtown, with bridge crossings. That could bring an entirely new element of charm to the face of Uxbridge’s core.
Regardless, since the Region of Durham owns the portion of the culvert that passes under Brock Street -- a regional road -- this project will require co-operation from all four levels of government if the federal funding is to be accessed. The burden of a $10-million project on municipal coffers alone can’t be overstated, and the Building Canada fund would be akin to Uxbridge finding treasure.
The wheels on this project have been moving slowly forward for several years now. The Township will now take the next step and let the Region of Durham know it wants to tap into federal funding when the Building Canada project launches April 1.
It’s up to Township officials to do everything they can in their collective power to bring all levels of government to the table, and access whatever funding might be available on a cost-sharing basis to replace the aging Uxbridge Brook culvert. It would be a big relief to the Township to be able to cross this project off the “to do” list.
Let’s get on with it.
-- Uxbridge Times-Journal
It appears that someone in Scugog is opposed to one of the area’s favourite winter pastimes and is risking human safety in doing so.
Durham Regional Police officials have been made aware of a series of incidents on local snowmobile trails in which bundles of wire fencing have been deliberately laid across trails, which have been caught up in the tracks of passing sledders, damaging their machines.
But it is the potential for injury -- or worse -- that is most concerning and which has prompted Durham police to issue a public advisory. Local members of the Port Perry Snowmobile Club are also actively working to determine who is responsible for what is being uniformly described as a malicious act.
Snowmobile club spokesman Rick Sauer is not understating the seriousness of the situation when he says he’s worried that someone might be killed if these acts continue.
And really, regardless of one’s possible opposition to snow machines, or the noise their engines make, or their presence in natural areas where trails are carved into the landscape, such malicious sabotage is still unconscionable.
Would it be worth, for example, a debilitating injury if a sledder is thrown from his or her machine because of wire seizing the track? What if it was a young boy or girl? Does the person or people responsible think that sledders will pack up and go away? In every context, these acts make absolutely no sense and, in fact, could see the perpetrator(s) serving jail time if the worst occurs.
We call on residents to be vigilant when they are out and about in the community and report any suspicious activity. We call on local snowmobilers to stand together in the face of this assault on a perfectly acceptable winter sporting pastime. We call on police to actively investigate and determine quickly who is responsible for these acts.
In the absence of personal injury, this case so far is one of public mischief. But if it continues, someone is going to get hurt, or worse, and it becomes something entirely different and far more malevolent.
Spring is just around the corner, which will reduce trail traffic and potentially push the issue aside without any conclusion.
In that context, it must be resolved. Quickly.
-- Port Perry Star
After almost 20 years, it’s high time for a further reduction of regional council, one that will also create a body more representative of Durham’s municipalities.
Pickering voters can have their say on the matter. Pickering council Monday night approved a question to be put on the municipal election ballot in October. It will ask Pickering residents if they support their local council asking for a smaller regional council. At the same time, the re-jigging would see seats distributed based on each municipality’s population.
Asking is the key word here as the decision lies at the regional level, not with Pickering council. That and the fact that regional councillors in January voted 15 to 9 against a question on the ballot had Councillor Doug Dickerson questioning if it was worth the effort.
“The sad fact is that it probably won’t have any effect at the Region,” he said.
Possibly, but we support Councillor Jennifer O’Connell’s position, namely that it’s important to push the issue. As she noted, growth coming to Pickering means the city will have a larger population than Oshawa in future years. However without a council shake-up, the city but will still be represented by four councillors at the Region, compared with eight in Oshawa.
“This is about sending a message to the Region,” she said. “The current system is broken and unfair.”
And the Region would be foolish not to pay attention to that message, especially if it is supportive by a large majority of Pickering residents. It’s also encouraging that regional council is obviously split on the issue.
As we have noted, council’s size is out of step with reality. When it was created 40 years ago, the concern that the rural, less populated municipalities would be at a disadvantage given there is far more people in the south was a big one. Thus the north was given two regional councillors each. They now represent just over 50,000 people. Again, Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock should have just one regional member and Oshawa should lose at least two or three. Pickering should keep its four.
And in the process, council’s size could easily be reduced by four members.
This would make the system fairer and regional council a bit less costly to taxpayers.
A previous report at regional council noted Durham council’s 28 members represent around 608,000 people. In Peel Region, 24 councillors represent almost 1.3 million and York Region, with a population of just over one million people, has 20 councillors.
Durham Regional council can and should clearly be smaller and more representative. Furthermore, there should be a mechanism in place to regularly review the size and make-up of council.
Say it with a tick of your ballot this fall.
-- Pickering News Advertiser
Greeting hometown hero Tara Watchorn in Newcastle was just as exciting as watching her hockey team capture gold last week in Sochi, Russia.
Ms. Watchorn, who gave up figure skating at age four to give hockey a try, saw the loop close on her Olympic dream when she returned home Tuesday night to a jubilant, proud crowd of Clarington supporters.
A crowd assembled on the Mill Street bridge brought it all home -- for Tara and the many Clarington residents who have cheered her from the start -- before Ms. Watchorn, still wearing her hard-earned gold medal in women’s hockey, waded into the crowd for photos and words of encouragement.
Her favourite moment at the Olympics was seeing Canada’s flag being raised and hearing the national anthem after the women’s team won gold in a thrilling come-from-behind win against a talented U.S. team. Ours too.
It’s hard to imagine the overwhelming pride Ms. Watchorn’s parents feel in seeing their daughter fully realize her hockey and Olympic dreams. They, along with their son, Tyler, are Ms. Watchorn’s most committed fans.
Those who weren’t able greet Ms. Watchorn Tuesday night get another opportunity to congratulate her on Saturday at the Newcastle Community Hall, where she’ll be spending time from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with community supporters and signing autographs.
And isn’t that typical? Rather than take time to reflect and recover from the rigours of international competition and long flights, Ms. Watchorn is making sure to make time for the community.
And it’s not as if she’s got nothing to do. After a brief rest at home -- if that’s what one can call it -- she’s jetting off to Calgary for a post-Olympics de-briefing and to participate in team events. After that, she hopes to do some fundraising for multiple sclerosis, a disease her mother lives with.
Before she heads off to a bright future and boundless opportunities, let us once more acknowledge her golden effort in Sochi, let us congratulate her for her achievement, and let us wish her every success.
She’s a hometown girl who brought a childhood dream to life and in doing so, took us along with her.
Way to go, Tara.
-- Clarington This Week
Follow reporter Kristen Calis at Kristen's Kritters