Toronto Sun

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Killer: 'I'm victim'

Hadley blamed troubles on wife


Ralph Hadley insisted "I'm the victim here" as he blamed his estranged wife for his legal problems and his failed marriage, a coroner's inquest into a murder-suicide heard yesterday.

Pat Andrus, a counsellor with the John Howard Society, said Hadley repeatedly justified and rationalized his behaviour -- including the Jan. 7, 2000 assault against wife Gillian after catching her in her lover's bed.

Hadley, 34, admitted to slapping Gillian during appointments with Andrus as part of a 10-session anger-management course that began in February 2000.

"He told me it was a knee-jerk reaction and all he was making was a statement (of indignation)," Andrus said. "And it wasn't fair that he was charged when she was the one breaking the marriage."

Andrus said Hadley believed Gillian should face criminal charges for breaking her marriage vows.

"If I had wanted to hurt her, I could have hit her head against a wall," Andrus said, quoting Hadley.

The assault allegations included Hadley grabbing Gillian's hair and banging her head against a wall. Andrus said she knew only about the slap.

At a later session, Andrus said Hadley conceded he had assaulted Gillian and he told her he would plead guilty and enter a domestic violence program.

Hadley -- who earlier appeared red-eyed, sad and anxious -- was more relaxed at later sessions. "He smiled. I didn't often see him smile up to that point."

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.