Toronto Sun

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Hadley worried Crown: Inquest

But case too weak


A Durham prosecutor was concerned about releasing Ralph Hadley on bail, but conceded in court that the Crown's case to keep him in jail was not "the most persuasive," a coroner's inquest heard yesterday.

Assistant Crown attorney Frank Giordano said he opposed bail on Feb. 28, 2000, when Hadley, 34, was in court following his arrest for harassing his estranged wife and breaching previous court orders.

Hadley was also charged at the time with assault and breaching a peace bond after hitting Gillian Hadley, 35, on Jan. 7, 2000, but he had no criminal record. A 1999 charge for abusing his severely disabled stepson was withdrawn with the peace bond.

In his 10 years' experience, Giordano said he saw bail granted in cases with "more triggers, more dangers, more indications that violence would occur" than in Hadley's case. Many of those offenders also had long criminal records and a history of breaching court orders, he added.

Giordano said Hadley's parents -- his mother testified at the bail hearing -- appeared to be fairly responsible sureties.

"What (his mother) presented as -- between her and her husband -- they would have the ability to monitor a house arrest," Giordano said.


"I wasn't ultimately persuaded to consent to release. I still had some concerns," he said, adding the final decision rested with justice of the peace Brenna Brown.

The inquest yesterday heard a transcript of the bail hearing in which Brown agreed to release Hadley on "very, very severe" terms, including virtual house arrest and a $5,000 surety.

During the bail hearing, Brown also said that courts must be aware that domestic disputes can spiral into tragedy. "There are situations which this court is mindful of ... where people who, for perhaps reasons of their own insecurity, need to control situations and even to the point where there are profound tragedies," Brown said at the time.

The case erupted on June 20, 2000, when Hadley broke into his former matrimonial home in Pickering and shot his ex-wife before killing himself.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.