Toronto Star

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Gillian was rejected after abuse, pal says

BY Nicholas Keung
Toronto Star

People turned away from Gillian Hadley as abuse by her husband Ralph escalated, an inquest has heard.

The staff at the Durham Housing Access Centre told her to stop bothering them for social housing and her family except her Mother Deanna MacLean - abandoned her for having an affair they disapproved of, her best friend, Kimberley Nicely, testified yesterday.

"Nobody talked to Gill after all," the Pickering woman told the five-member jury at the inquest into the murder-suicide of the couple.

Nicely said Gillian wanted to move out of her Hillcrest Rd. home after Ralph was first charged by police for assaulting heron Jan. 7,2000.

She changed her phone number twice and planned to look for a new home in Port Perry to dodge her husband who, despite a restraining order from court, still stalked her and phoned her constantly, Nicely said.

She had all her belongings boxed in May and was ready to go house-hunting with Nicely on the morning of June 20, 2000.

But the two women never made the trip. Ralph gunned Gillian down at her house around 9 a.m. that day, Nicely testified.

"She didn't have 20/20 hindsight that Ralph would come in and kill her," Nicely testified.

Nicely said the couple's marriage started to crumble as Ralph gradually became verbally abusive toward Gillian some time after their marriage in October, 1997.

"He was very verbal, very aggressive and would run outside yelling and screaming at Gill," Nicely said.

"Gill never yelled and would ask Ralph to cahn down ... but she was getting sick and tired of it."

Despite advice to the contrary from Nicely, Gillian continued a romantic relationship with a man she met at an Oshawa club in October, 1999. She planned to reveal her affair to Ralph on Jan. 7,2000.

She was thinking -I'his is it. There is no more trying (to patch up)," said Nicely, but Ralph arrived at the man's house that morning and was later charged by police for assault.

All Gillian's family members but her mother cut their ties from her afterward, she added.

Gillian was living on some $300 a month from the government's parental allowance and baby bonus, plus a bit of child support from her ex-husband Michael Ferraz and was trying to move to Port Perry once her 8-year-old daughter Faith finished school in July.

She had called the local housing authorities numerous times for help to try to get into social housing but was told by a case worker "not to call back again," Nicely said.

Ralph was charged by police in April, 2000, for violating the restraining order, but was soon released from jail.

"He should have stayed in jail. If he had stayed in jail, this would not have happened," Nicely said.

Copyright © 1996-2001. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited.