Toronto Sun

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Hi-tech bracelet can't prevent crime

Hadley inquest told

By BRIAN GRAY, Toronto Sun

Ralph Hadley was not wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when he shot and killed his estranged wife, Gillian, a coroner's inquest heard yesterday.

And an expert on the device testified that while the bracelet tracks a person's movements, it cannot prevent the commission of a crime.

"Electronic monitoring has its limits," said Adam Borgida, a regional director with Ontario's correctional services ministry. "It can't control a person's behaviour and it can't guarantee safety."

Borgida said the program is only open to non-violent offenders housed in the provincial reformatory system.

When he shot to death estranged wife Gillian, and then killed himself in June 2000, Hadley was awaiting trial on charges he had abused his stepson. That meant Hadley was not eligible for the electronic monitoring program.

However, he was under bail orders not to leave his parents' house except for work.

During testimony, Borgida made it clear that compelling people awaiting trial to wear the bracelet would be a huge undertaking.

Showing the lightweight bracelet and monitoring box to the five-person jury, Borgida said the range could be set to allow the offender to move from 35 to 150 metres away from his or her house.


"It's designed to allow people to cut grass and take out the garbage but not go to the grocery store," he testified.

The electronic monitoring program is restricted to those who pose a minimal risk of reoffending and participation is voluntary.

"The bottom line on the release is public safety -- we don't take a chance," he said.

If the bracelet is cut or the person goes too far from the monitoring box, an alarm notifies correctional services and staff investigate.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.