Toronto Star

Nov. 22, 02:00 EDT

Mother guaranteed surveillance of son

Hadley's strict bail `pleased' crown attorney

Peter Small
Staff Reporter
Toronto Star

The bail conditions imposed on a man accused of harassing the estranged wife he would later murder were unusually stringent and came with an impressive guarantor his mother, an inquest has been told.

Ralph Hadley's mother, Christina Hadley, "presented very well" in an Oshawa bail court where she personally guaranteed that she and her husband, Gerald, would keep their son under virtual 24-hour surveillance, except for his job, ensuring he would make no harassing phone calls or go near his wife, Gillian, assistant crown attorney Frank Giordano testified yesterday.

Giordano, who represented the crown at the Feb. 28, 2000 bail hearing, testified he did not consent to Ralph's release. Instead, the onus was on Hadley's lawyer, Graham Wakefield, to prove that his client would not be a danger.

Giordano testified that while he outlined the allegations to Justice of the Peace Brenna Brown, "I did indicate that it's not a persuasive case" for jailing Hadley.

His position, he said, "was if detention is going to protect Gillian, perhaps that's what we need," but if it could be accomplished through strict bail conditions, that was acceptable.

In December, 1999, Hadley signed a peace bond to have a charge of criminal negligence causing bodily harm to his stepson, Michael, dropped. In January, he was charged with assaulting Gillian and breaching the terms of the bond. In February, a criminal harassment charge was laid after Gillian and witnesses spoke of his driving by the house, repeated telephone calls to her in breach of his previous bail conditions and a threat he made: "After what you've done to me wait till I get through with you ..."

When coroner's counsel Al O'Marra asked Giordano if he was persuaded that the justice of the peace understood the seriousness of Ralph's behaviour, he replied Brown's reasoning in granting bail was detailed and her terms of release among the most strict he had seen in several years for such a case.

Conditions included posting $5,000 bail, much higher than even more serious cases, Giordano said. In addition, Ralph had to live with his parents in Scarborough. He could not leave home without one of his parents, who would drive him to and from work.

"I am not giving Mr. Hadley one opportunity to be on his own," the justice of the peace said at the time.

On June 20, Hadley broke into his former matrimonial home in Pickering and shot Gillian in the head, then killed himself.

Giordano said if he had received more details about an alleged break and entry into Gillian's home by Ralph on Jan. 22, it would have concerned him, although he was not sure he could have used it in court. Similarly, if he had seen a report of the seriousness of the injuries to Gillian's face after she was assaulted by Ralph on Jan. 7, that would have been cause for concern, he said.

But the case was one of many he dealt with that day and not unusually serious.

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