Toronto Sun

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Jail time scared Hadley: Mother

Murder-suicide inquest


Ralph Hadley believed his future was behind bars and it was somewhere too "horrible" for him to go, his mother told a coroner's inquest into the Hadley murder-suicide.

Hadley spent three nights in a Whitby jail in February 2000 awaiting a bail hearing on a charge he harassed his estranged wife, Gillian.

"It was not somewhere he liked to be," Christina Hadley testified yesterday.

"He didn't want to go back -- it was a real eye-opener."

Ralph repeatedly broke the terms of a release that kept him out of jail while he awaited trial on an assault charge for slapping Gillian.

His mom said he made phone calls to Gillian and even visited her on several occasions. But Christina Hadley believed Ralph's experience in jail was enough to set him straight, so she posted bail and guaranteed that he would follow the strict rules setting him free until his trial, about three months away.

Christina Hadley said her oldest son was told during his last court appearance that things would be settled in July.

"Ralph thought he would probably be going to jail," she told the five-member jury. "He expected the worst and that was the worst."

But on June 20, 2000, Ralph snuck into the Pickering home he was banned from and shot his wife before killing himself.

Christina Hadley said her family were also victims -- including Ralph.

"I'm sure that he thought he was a victim," she testified. "But he knew he wasn't blameless -- he wasn't foolish enough to think this was a one-sided thing."

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.