Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Calvin Barry Comments on Rengel Murder (CTV NEWS)

CTV News Channel: Calvin Barry, criminal lawyer
Despite being given a life sentence, Stefanie Rengel's killer may only spend 10 years behind bars.

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A young Toronto man will spend at least 10 years behind bars after been sentenced for the sexual jealousy and blackmail-driven stabbing death of teenager Stefanie Rengel.

"Death is permanent. There is no rewind button," Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan, the case's lead investigator, told reporters after the sentencing of David Bagshaw, now 19. "And as a society, we hold everybody accountable, whether you're 17 or 77."

Bagshaw, known until now as D.B. because he was 17 at the time of the crime, was sentenced Monday as an adult.

The Crown had asked an adult sentence, arguing that Bagshaw was only four days shy of his 18th birthday when he murdered Rengel -- and that his electronic communications trail showed he was well aware he would face more severe punishment if he waited much longer before striking.
First-degree murder convictions for adults over the age of 18 carry automatic life in prison sentences with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

The defence had asked for a youth sentence, arguing that adult incarceration would leave D.B. more antisocial than if he received help in a youth facility. A youth sentence would have meant six years in prison -- adjusted for time served -- and four in the community.

"As we said to the judge before the sentencing, he accepts whatever he receives," defence lawyer Heather McArthur told reporters outside court.

"And quite frankly -- right now, David is still far more concerned about the pain and the suffering he caused than he is about what's going to happen to him. And at the end of the day -- all he wants to express once again is how truly, truly sorry he is for what he did. And he knows there's nothing he can do to bring Stefanie back, but he hopes at least the family has some consolation now."

Thirteen-year-old Ian Rengel, Stefanie's brother, spoke for the family. He didn't sound satisfied with the sentence.

"Being four days shy of 18 shouldn't mean automatically knocking off 15 years off the sentence for first-degree murder. My sister Stefanie didn't even get to live 15 years. The community should be very concerned when David Bagshaw gets out in 10 years."

He added: "I don't think anyone will be able to forgive them when they get out."

In passing sentence, Justice Ian Nordheimer did say he found Bagshaw to be genuinely remorseful. He noted that two psychiatrists believed Bagshaw could be rehabilitated.

"All of those mitigating factors cannot, however, overcome the nature of David's actions - the planned and deliberate killing of a young girl, a young girl who he apparently liked and who liked him," Nordheimer told the court.

"Nor can they blind us to the fact that David still poses a threat to the safety of the public."

Bagshaw's former girlfriend, 17-year-old Melissa Todorovic, convinced him to kill Rengel. She was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced in July as an adult to life in prison, with no chance of parole for seven years.

Todorovic had relentlessly pressured Bagshaw to kill Rengel, someone she had never met but for whom she harboured a pathological jealousy because Rengel once had a crush on him.

Bagshaw and Todorovic exchanged thousands of text messages and cellphone calls over a period of months, with Todorovic threatening to withhold sex until he got rid of Rengel.

He finally acted on the evening of Jan. 1, 2008, luring Rengel outside with a phone call and then stabbing her six times in the chest. A passerby found Rengel dying in a snow bank.

Bagshaw told his sentencing hearing earlier this month he can't forgive himself for killing "an innocent girl who deserved to live."

"I stand before you sentenced for the disgusting crime I committed. I hate myself for the decision I made that night. She died because of my actions," he said between tears in a statement to the court.

"To Stefanie's family: I am so sorry. To Stefanie: I am sorry."

Bagshaw will be eligible to apply for parole when he's 27. He's been given credit for the time he has already served in custody.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Chris Eby

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Calvin Barry Defends "Exchange Bandit"

`Exchange bandit' pleads guilty

Kevin John Pinto would ask about the U.S. dollar, then rob the teller.

Pinto's the name and robbing banks to pay off a gambling debt was his game – until he was arrested. Now the former compliance officer at an investment firm awaits his sentence
Sep 17, 2009 04:30 AM

Raveena Aulakh Staff reporter

All his heists were at lunchtime.

Last year, on Sept. 12, Kevin John Pinto left his plush 21st-floor office at 95 Wellington St. W. and went down to the main floor. He walked by a Second Cup in the lobby, out on to the street and headed northwest to the Bank of Nova Scotia on King St. W., a five-minute walk away.

At 12:30 p.m., he went up to a teller and asked her about the American dollar exchange rate. She was probably still explaining when he handed her a note. It said: "This is a holdup. Give me all the 50s and 20s."
Minutes later, he strolled out with over $7,200 – just like that.

Pinto, 38, a former financial compliance officer with investment firm Paradigm Capital, pleaded guilty yesterday to 10 counts of robbery.
He turned himself in last October after the Canadian Bankers Association posted a $10,000 reward for his capture and Toronto police released surveillance video of the so-called "exchange bandit."

He acquired that nickname because he would first ask the teller about the rate of the American dollar before producing a holdup note.

Yesterday, Pinto, dressed in a powder-blue shirt and a black suit, appeared at ease as he sat chatting with an officer, his face occasionally crinkling into a smile as they waited for the judge to arrive in the courtroom.

Pinto quietly pleaded guilty and looked straight ahead as Crown prosecutor Louise MacNaughton read the list of charges against him.
A gun was never seen, the court was told.

Pinto has no previous record.

Sentencing was postponed to Oct. 13 for the judge to consider submissions about Pinto's character and motive.

Outside the court, Pinto's lawyer, Calvin Barry, attributed his client's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of scenario" to a compulsive gambling addiction that left him with a debt of more than $100,000 and his credit cards maxed out.

Pinto gambled online and at casinos, said Barry.

"He was in a deficit situation and the credit people were creeping up ... the noose was tightening," said Barry, explaining his client's brazen spree of bank robberies.

Pinto's first heist was on Jan. 2, 2002, in Mississauga where he walked out with $4,500 stuffed in an envelope. He later ripped off banks in Brampton, Kitchener, Cambridge, Oakville and downtown Toronto.
The amounts ranged from $255 to $9,600, adding up to over $33,000.
His modus operandi never changed: Pinto, who never wore a mask, presented a holdup note to the teller that sometimes said he had a gun and warned: "Don't do anything stupid."

In one instance, he pulled off two heists in one day.

On Aug. 9, 2008, a Saturday, he went to the Bank of Montreal on College St. but he got only $255 from the teller. Forty-five minutes later, he walked into a CIBC in Oakville and left with over $9,000.

But the robberies stopped for a few years when he was married.

Barry acknowledged yesterday that Pinto's wife was trying to help. But the two broke up.

He was soon back to holdups.

The "exchange bandit's" string of robberies had police flummoxed. Pinto eluded police until last year when police released three photos pulled from security cameras.

After the images were splashed in newspapers and on TV, the story allegedly goes, Pinto's colleagues at Paradigm teased him about how he resembled the wanted man and that he should get himself a lawyer.
That's what Pinto did.

He then turned himself in, stunning family, friends and co-workers. He has been in custody since.

Pinto started work at Paradigm in January 2006 after a stint with the National Bank. He was one of two compliance staff at Paradigm and was responsible for providing oversight and ensuring the firm's trading activities complied with regulatory requirements.

"He had an impeccable life before he hit the skids here," said Barry.
Within hours of his arrest, he was suspended from work and his family had moved his stuff out of his one-bedroom apartment in a lakefront condo.

Now, he faces several years' imprisonment.

MacNaughton said she is seeking a "significant penitentiary term ... not double-digits."

Barry said his client is remorseful and wants to put the addiction behind him.

With files from Betsy Powell

Calvin Barry Defends "Exchange Bandit"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Calvin Barry Defends "Exchange Bandit"

‘Exchange bandit’ whose trail included Kitchener pleads guilty

Toronto Police Service
Bank robbery suspect Kevin Pinto, dubbed the "Exchange Bandit".

Toronto Police Service
Bank robbery suspect Kevin Pinto, dubbed the "Exchange Band ...
Toronto Police ServiceBank robbery suspect Kevin Pinto, dubbed the "Exchange Bandit".

September 16, 2009 By Betsy Powell and Nick Aveling, Toronto Star
Former financial compliance officer Kevin John Pinto pleaded guilty Wednesday to 10 counts of robbery.

Pinto, the vice-president of compliance at a Toronto investment firm, turned himself in on May 8 after the Canadian Bankers Association posted a $10,000 reward for the capture of the so-called “Exchange Bandit.”

He was charged with 10 counts of robbery.

Pinto was one of two compliance staff at Paradigm Capital, an investment firm with offices in Toronto and Calgary. He was responsible for providing oversight and ensuring the firm’s trading activities complied with regulatory requirements.

He had previously worked for National Bank.

A suspect in the Exchange Bandit case had been sought for at least 21 robberies – in Toronto, Peel, Kitchener, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls – dating to 2003.

The most recent heist took place Sept. 12, 2008 at a Scotiabank on King St. W., just minutes from Paradigm’s offices.

He was called the Exchange Bandit because of his habit of asking tellers about US exchange rates before producing a note demanding cash.
Pinto committed the robberies to feed his gambling addiction, said his lawyer Calvin Barry.

“He is very remorseful. He’s had a lot time of think... as people do when they are behind bars,” Barry said.

“He wanted to deal with his gambling addiction and wanted to get it behind him,” he added explaining why his client pleaded guilty.

He is scheduled to return to Old City Hall for a sentencing hearing on Oct. 13.