Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Calvin Barry

When a police officer pulls you over in Ontario, and if s/he detects alcohol
on one's breath, the officer can make a demand for you to provide a sample
into an approved screening device. If you fail that test, this provides
reasonable and probable grounds for the policer officer to arrest you, have
your car towed, and make a breath demand.

Your license will be suspended for 90 days under the Highway Traffic Act and
on the 91st day, provided you have no prior record, you can attend at any
Ministry of Transporation and pay the $150 reinstatement fee to have your
license reinstated. In several jurisdictions in Toronto and the GTA, if
there is a trial, it will be about one year away.

When you go to the police station, you will be presented to a qualified
breathalyzer technician and will have to provide two samples into the Intoxilyzer 5000 or Intoxilyzer 8000, commonly used throughout Ontario.
If you provide a sample that is in excess of 80 milligrams in 100
millilitres of blood then you will be charged with "Over 80".

Another scenario is if you are exhibiting obvious signs of impairment, the
police officer does not have to administer the approved screening device,
but will have reasonable and probable grounds to arrest you for "Impaired
Driving of a Motor Vehicle." Even if you have the keys in your pocket and
you are sitting behind the wheel of your vehicle and it is not on you can be
charged with "Care and Control," "Impaired" and/or "Over 80" of a motor

At the police station you will be allowed to speak to a Duty Counsel lawyer
who will advise you of your rights. It is usually advisable to always
provide the two samples of your breath as refusing to provide a sample does
not come with many legal defences. Sometimes, people have breathing
difficulties and attempt but cannot provide a suitable sample, and then one
would be charged with "Failure to Provide an Adequate Sample."

Impaired, Over 80, Failure to provide sample, Refusal to provide sample, all
come with the same consequences - that being a 90 day administrative
suspension regardless if you are ultimately acquitted at trial, a $1000
fine, one year prohibition, and in the second year of driving you have to
install an interlock device that unless you blow zero blood alcohol the
vehicle will not start up. In addition you have to take the 'Back on Track'
program, which is a course on the perils of drinking and driving.

On August 1, 2010 provincial provisions were enacted that, if eligible they
allow you to plead guilty and after 90 days of driving prohibition, you are
allowed to drive for employment purposes with the interlock provision
installed in your vehicle. If you have prior convictions, or the readings
are quite high, or if there was an accident, you will likely not be eligible
for this program.

Other consequences of being convicted by guilty plea or after a trial of
drinking and driving are that you will have a criminal record, you may have
difficulty crossing into U.S.A., you will have fingerprints and photos of
yourself on the Canadian Police Information Computer system that is used by
police Canada wide. Employment difficulties - as many people have to be

-Calvin Barry

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vakhtang Makhniashvili makes court appearance on attempted murder charges

Vakhtang Makhniashvili appears in a Toronto court on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault, November 5, 2010.
Photo Credit: Alex Tavshunsky

Pat Hewitt, The Canadian Press: Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TORONTO - The father of missing Toronto teen Mariam Makhniashvili will remain in jail on an unrelated attempted murder charge.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili waived his right to a bail hearing on Wednesday and consented to stay behind bars.

Outside court his lawyer, Calvin Barry, said Makhniashvili could not find a suitable surety to post bail - but added he might seek bail at a later date.

"I consented to the detention order given that we don't have a real plan from the second set of allegations in terms of suitable sureties at this time," Barry said.

"The wife's doing fine. I had a good talk with her today. He's doing fine. I spoke to him in the courtroom today."

Makhniashvili, 50, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and failure to comply with bail conditions after a couple were stabbed in front of their east-end home last Thursday.

The couple, David and Delores Langer, had posted bail for Makhniashvili after he was charged with stabbing a neighbour in May.

The couple did not know Makhniashvili before that incident, and pulled their bail promise after Makhniashvili told local media he was suspicious of the motives of David Langer, who is a private detective.

The Langers have said they were only trying to help and felt hurt by his suspicions.

Makhniashvili's wife, Lela Tabidze, would not be considered a suitable surety for the latest charges because Makhniashvili is alleged to have violated house arrest on the previous charges, Barry said Wednesday.

Barry added he hopes to get a psychiatric exam for his client, who is in protective custody in the medical wing at the Metro West Detention Centre, later this week.

Mariam was 17 when she went missing after arriving at Forest Hill Collegiate on Sept. 14, 2009. The only solid clue was the discovery of her backpack and some school books in a parking lot the following month.

The Makhniashvili family, originally from the Republic of Georgia, had only been in Toronto for three months when their daughter disappeared. The parents lived in Los Angeles for five years before moving to Toronto, while Mariam and her brother lived with their grandparents in Georgia.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili said his daughter knew about calling 911, and police said at the time of her disappearance that she knew enough English to make herself understood.

Police have received tips of possible sightings of the missing girl from across Canada and beyond, and have urged anyone who knows Makhniashvili's whereabouts to contact police.

Earlier last week Makhniashvili said his son ran away overnight because his family wanted him to concentrate on math and the boy wanted to play guitar.

Mariam's dad stays behind bars

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, seen in this file photo, was unshaven in Wednesday's court appearance. (JACK BOLAND, Toronto Sun)


Vakhtang Makhniashvili will remain behind bars for now at the request of his lawyer.

Counsel Calvin Barry waived a bail hearing at College Park courts Wednesday and is hoping to set a December date for a preliminary hearing. Unshaven and wan in his orange jumpsuit, the father of missing Mariam briefly glanced at his wife in the courtroom.

Barry said outside court that there is no "plan or suitable surety" at this time and so he didn't oppose the prosecution's bid to keep his client in custody.

He faces attempted murder charges after a couple was stabbed in front of their home last week.

He was on bail at the time related to an assault charge in May.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Makhniashvili held over in stabbing

DEFENCE LAWYER Calvin Barry spoke to reporters after Vakhtang Makhniashvili's Nov. 5 court appearance.

Suspect will remain in jail until his next court appearance
By Sharon Ko
November 5, 2010

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, who was arrested and charged in conjunction with a double stabbing on Nov. 4, has been held over pending a Nov. 10 hearing.

According to police David, 45, and Delores Langer, 51, were stabbed in front of their home near Greenwood Avenue and Queen Street East. Both victims sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries. Police say that David was stabbed in the abdomen and required surgery while Delores was slashed on the arm.

As of 5 p.m. on Nov. 5 Delores had been released from hospital, while David is still recovering from surgery.

Defence lawyer Calvin Barry said that he had no idea about what might have led to Makhniashvili allegedly attacking the couple.

"Police are still investigating and trying to get a copy of the 911 call," he told reporters after the Nov. 5 hearing. "I want to get some more information from the detectives at 55 Division and try to assess where we're at, what exactly happened and how it happened.

"It looked like it happened very quickly."

Makhniashvili is the father of missing teen Mariam Makhniashvili and is also facing charges related to another stabbing in May. The victims of the most recent attack had been the people who had acted as Makhniashvili's surety in the wake of the previous incident.

In an interview with the Town Crier in August Makhniashvili said that he felt uncomfortable with the Langers who he says were private investigators and required him to stay with them in their home longer than he had initially expected.

"Maybe for security purposes," Makhniashvili said during the interview. "But for whatever reason it was unexpected for me. Nobody told me about this."

The family was also recently in the news when their son George went missing for several hours on Nov. 1.

“It caused a lot of stress (for the family)," said Barry about George's disappearance. "It’s been a pretty tough week for them and every day is just stressful because of his daughter missing.”

Barry said his client is doing well at the moment. He plans to speak with Makhniashvili and will be updating his wife Lela Tabidze on his situation.

“She’s a pretty strong woman," he said. "She obviously is upset with what happened in the last 24 hours."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5500, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.

– With files from Joshua Freeman

Missing teen’s father in court on stabbing charges

Published On Fri Nov 5 2010

Lela Tabidze, wife of Vakhtang Makhniashvili, leaves court with her husband's lawyer, Calvin Barry, after her husband appeared in court to face numerous charges.

Curtis Rush
Staff Reporter

The father of missing teen Mariam Makhniashvili appeared briefly in court Friday to answer attempted murder and aggravated assault charges stemming from a double stabbing Thursday.

Clad in orange jumpsuit and in handcuffs, Vakhtang Makhniashvili entered the prisoner’s box bearing what seemed to be a large round welt on his left cheek but otherwise appeared in good condition.

Makhniashvili surrendered to police on Thursday, minutes after David Langer, 54, and his wife, Delores, 51, who had posted bond for Makhniashvili in a previous stabbing case, were themselves stabbed at their home on Greenwood Ave., near Queen St. E.

Langer suffered non-life-threatening injuries to his abdomen and his wife was stabbed in the arm.

Makhniashvili has also been charged with breaching bail.

When he was ushered into court, Makhniashvili glanced around for his wife, Lela Tabidze. She never betrayed any emotion.

Tabidze and her husband exchanged a nod when he settled into the prisoner’s box, and they nodded quickly to each other after the proceedings were over.

Makhniashvili did not speak to the judge, only conferring with his lawyer, Calvin Barry.

His case was put over until Nov. 10. The judge ordered a publication ban on evidence given in court.

Asked about the stabbing, Barry told reporters that “it’s a bizarre set of circumstances but it’s still in the embryonic stage, so I can’t comment.”

In court, Barry asked for Makhniashvili, 50, to be held in protective custody because of fears he could be assaulted by others at the Toronto West Detention Centre.

Makhniashvili was being treated by a forensic psychiatrist and was on unspecified medication before the alleged attack, said Barry.

“A person at the best times would be under a lot of stress from the fact that the daughter has been missing so long,” he told reporters. “That alone is what triggered a lot of distress and psychiatric issues.”

Their daughter had disappeared without a trace Sept. 14, 2009, on her way to Forest Hill Collegiate. Her knapsack was found later.

Their son, George, 17, had vanished from their home earlier this week and returned the next day.

“She’s a strong woman. She’s holding up well,” Barry said of Tabidze.

The son’s disappearance had weighed heavily on the parents, Barry said.

“It caused a lot of stress. It’s like a lot of things: How many smacks can you take in a short period of time?”

Although they had never met Makhniashvili, the Langers had posted $50,000 bail for Vakhtang after he had allegedly stabbed a neighbour in May after an argument over excessive noise.

It was later learned that they were private investigators who had taken a special interest in Mariam’s disappearance.

When Makhniashvili became suspicious of their motives, the couple pulled their bail and Tabidze became his surety.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili to remain in police custody

Lela Tabidze, wife of Vakhtang Makhniashvili, is escorted out of a downtown Toronto courthouse by lawyer Calvin Barry on Friday November 5, 2010

A disheveled, unshaven Vakhtang Makhniashvili made a brief appearance in court on Friday morning, but will remain behind bars for the foreseeable future.

The father of missing Mariam Makhniashvili, who was last seen in September of 2009, faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and failure to comply with a recognizance order, following an alleged attack on a couple in Toronto’s east end on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Makhniashvili will return to court for a bail hearing on Wednesday, but for now he is being held in police custody at the Toronto West Detention Centre’s medical wing.

He walked into the Toronto courtroom on Friday, hunched over in an orange jumpsuit and looking nervous. He only spoke to his legal counsel, Calvin Barry, and did not talk to the judge directly.
His wife, Lela Tabidze, appeared in court. The two exchanged glances during the hearing and she took notes in a blue notebook. Their son, Giorgi, did not attend the hearing.

After the brief hearing, Mr. Barry escorted Ms. Tabidze out of the courthouse on College Street, dodging reporters and photographers. Pale and looking exhausted, she got into a taxi without saying a word.

Mr. Barry said his client is fully in charge of his faculties.

“He fully knows what’s going on,” he said. “I can’t comment on what set him off.”

Mr. Makhniashvili has endured a massive amount of stress surrounding the disappearance of his daughter and his son’s disappearance for several hours earlier this week, said Mr. Barry. He confirmed that his client was on medication and being evaluated by a forensic psychiatrist before Thursday’s attack.

“This has been very hard for them,” he said. “How many smacks can a guy take in a short period of time?”

He could not go into specific details about his client’s mental state, but noted that he seemed “perfectly fine” when they spoke.

Ms. Tabidze was supportive of her husband, said Mr. Barry. “She’s a strong woman. She’s holding up well.”

Mr. Makhniashvili turned himself in to police Thursday afternoon, after allegedly stabbing a couple at their east-end Toronto residence.

David Langer, 54, was stabbed in the stomach and taken for surgery. His wife, Delores Langer, 51, was slashed in the arm. They are both recovering at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The Langers had originally freed Mr. Makhniashvili on a $50,000 bail in May, after another stabbing charge.

National Post

Calvin Barry - Maclean's December 3, 2001

Tuesday, November 2, 2010