Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dad of missing Toronto teen sentenced to 6 years for assaults

The Canadian Press
Thu Dec 8 20110


Police probe report missing daughter sighted earlier this week

TORONTO The father of missing Toronto teen Mariam Makhniashvili has been sentenced to six years for aggravated assault.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to three counts of aggravated assault, will serve four years and 11 months after time served is taken into account.

The charges followed two separate stabbing incidents last year, one involving a neighbour and the other a couple who had posted his bail.

Mariam Makhniashvili vanished in September 2009 when she was 17, and the only clue ever found was her backpack.

Defence lawyer Calvin Barry says the court took into account that Vakhtang Makhniashvili was suffering from mental health issues following his daughter’s disappearance.

“He had a delusional disorder that explained away at least some of what happened,” Barry said outside court.

“Not enough for an acquittal or not guilty, but enough for some compassion on a rehabilitative ground, you know, ‘Forgive me God for I know not what I do’ type of scenario.”

Barry added that his client was prepared for the sentence.

“He knew that he had to pay the piper — that there had to be a sentence meted out.”

Meanwhile, a police spokeswoman says investigators are looking into a reported sighting of Mariam earlier this week in Toronto.

Const. Wendy Drummond says police are going through surveillance video but can’t confirm it was the missing teen.

Drummond says police are constantly getting tips in the case and encourage the public to report any possible sightings of Mariam.

The Canadian Press

http://www.thespec.com/news/ontario/article/636466--dad-of-missing-toronto-teen-sentenced-to-6-years-for-assaults

Calvin Barry Defends Vakhtang Makhniashvili

Mariam Makhniashvili’s father sentenced to 6 years for stabbingsPublished On Thu Dec 8 2011

Niamh Scallan
Staff Reporter

The father of missing teen Mariam Makhniashvili has been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to stabbing three people last year.

With credit for time served, Vakhtang Makhniashvili, 51, will spend another four years and 11 months behind bars.

“This is a very sad case. (He) is living every person’s nightmare, the loss of a child,” Justice Rebecca Rutherford said during the sentencing Thursday morning.

“His inability to cope appears to have led to the serious attacks” last year against neighbour Sean Ure and David and Delores Langer, the couple who bailed him out of jail, she said.

But the “surprise” knife attacks inflicted serious injuries, both physical and emotional, and warranted a stiff sentence, she added.

Makhniashvili, a Georgian immigrant who studied music, sociology and philosophy, stood in the prisoner’s box, his head bowed, as Rutherford read her sentence.

The family first made headlines in September 2009 when his daughter Mariam, 17, disappeared outside Forest Hill Collegiate.

Her whereabouts are still unknown.

Det. Sgt. Dan Nealon, lead investigator in the case, said police are looking into a reported sighting in Toronto earlier this week, reviewing surveillance video from the area.

Noting there is no “concrete evidence” the person was Mariam, Nealon said police have been flooded by hundreds of tips and reported sightings.

In October, a court-ordered psychiatric assessment revealed that Makhniashvili’s violent outbursts were related to a delusional disorder and were likely triggered by stress brought on by his daughter’s disappearance.

After Mariam vanished, he “became consumed” with trying to find her, scouring missing person’s websites for traces of his daughter, Rutherford said.

The family isolated themselves from friends and family, and Makhniashvili developed paranoid delusions about people around him, the judge added.

Crown Attorney John Cisorio argued for a prison term of eight to 10 years given the level of violence and the premeditated nature of the crimes.

Defence lawyer Calvin Barry said his client was suffering a mental illness at the time of the crime and has shown remorse. He called for one year and two weeks plus three years probation, on top of the 11 months spent in custody.

Rutherford said she accepted Makhniashvili’s remorse as genuine and that he suffered from a mental disorder which played a role in the attacks last year. But, she said, the “planned, unprovoked” violence involved in the attacks in his victims’ homes had to be taken into account.

Makhniashvili also faces a lifetime ban on prohibited weapons.

Outside the courthouse, Delores Langer rolled up her sleeve to show a jagged scar running up her left arm. She said the injury from Makhniashvili’s attack left her left hand paralyzed, but added that she empathized with his family.

“I feel his pain, he’s a parent . . . it’s tragic,” she said. “But I don’t condone violence. I hope he gets the help that he needs.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/article/1098995--missing-girl-s-father-sentenced-to-6-years-for-stabbings

Vakhtang Makhniashvili sentenced to 6 years for stabbings

Calvin Barry, Vakhtang Makhniashvili's lawyer, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011.


ctvtoronto.ca


Date: Thursday Dec. 8, 2011 11:34 AM ET

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, whose daughter Mariam disappeared in 2009, will serve four years and 11 months in jail for three 2010 stabbings, a Toronto judge ruled Thursday.

Makhniashvili, 51, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault last summer. While Justice Rebecca Rutherford sentenced him to six years in jail, that sentence was reduced due to time already served.

In May 2010, Makhniashvili stabbed a 26-year-old former neighbour after accusing him of being responsible for his daughter's disappearance.

In November 2010, he stabbed both David and Delores Langer, a couple who had come forward to help him post bail for the attack on the neighbour.

Makhniashvili later admitted to confronting the couple outside their Greenwood Avenue home and blaming them for a negative newspaper article about his family.

At a sentencing hearing in October, all three victims described extensive physical and emotional injuries resulting from the attacks. A psychiatric assessment presented to the court that day indicated Makhniashvili suffers from a delusional disorder.

"I would like to apologize to my victims. I didn't realize how much pain and trouble I've caused to society and my family," he told the court.

Mariam Makhniashvili vanished from her Toronto high school without a trace in September 2009. She was 17 at the time. Despite a national search, police have been unable to find her.

In November 2010, Mariam's brother Giorgi briefly ran away from home over a dispute with his father about playing the guitar. The teen's father had pushed him to focus on mathematics over music. Giorgi, who is now 18, turned up at a Vaughan police station about ten hours after his parents reported him missing.

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111208/vakhtang-makhniashvili-assault-sentencing-111208/20111208?hub=TorontoNewHome

Click above link to view video of Calvin Barry

Father of missing teen Mariam Makhniashvili gets 6-year sentence

Mariam Makhniashvili was 17 years old when she went missing in September 2009
Photo courtesy of: Missing Children Society of Canada

Father of missing teen Mariam Makhniashvili gets 6-year sentence

680News staff
Dec 08, 2011

TORONTO, Ont. - Vakhtang Makhniashvili, the father of missing teen Mariam, has been sentenced to six years in jail, Thursday, after he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault earlier this year.

He will serve four years and 11 months with a credit for pretrial custody.

"It's up to the judge, and they have to look at a lot of things - psychiatric reports, the breach of the bail, the horrible tragedy to the complainant," commented Makhniashvili's lawyer Calvin Barry.

"He had a delusional disorder that explained away at least some of what happened - not enough for an acquittal or not guilty, but enough for some compassion on a rehabilitative ground."

Earlier this year, Makhniashvili pleaded guilty to two separate stabbings, one of which involved a couple he blamed for a negative story on his daughter Mariam's disappearance in September of 2009.

Meanwhile, on the same day, police said they are looking into a reported sighting of Mariam earlier this week in Toronto.

Const. Wendy Drummond said police are going through surveillance video but can't confirm it was her.

"We've gone through hours and hours of video surveillance and tips that have come in," Drummond told 680News. "We continue to request the public to provide any information that they have, but unfortunately we have nothing that leads us in any one direction."

"There's nothing concrete to suggest it is Mariam."

The only clue ever found was the now 19 year old's backpack.

Barry said his client did not seem to know about the latest sighting tip.

http://www.680news.com/news/local/article/307983--father-of-missing-teen-mariam-makhniashvili-gets-6-year-sentence

Monday, November 28, 2011

Calvin Barry explains the system and sentencing for drunk driving cases

SUN NEWS:
Explaining sentencing

September 1, 2011 10:33

Jack Tobin got a 3-year sentence for the drunk-driving death of his friend. Criminal laywer Calvin Barry explains the system and sentencing for drunk driving cases.


http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1138415630001

Click above link to watch video.

Calvin Barry

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Calvin Barry, Criminal Lawyer

Makhniashvili deserves strong sentence
By Michele Mandel ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vakhtang Makhniashvili, seen here in a photo taken about a month after his daughter went missing in 2009, will be sentenced Dec. 8 for attacking three people with knives.
(JACK BOLAND/Toronto Sun files)

TORONTO - Sympathy goes only so far.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili may be grieving a missing daughter, but his unprovoked stabbing spree has left four victims still struggling to rebuild their shattered lives. He haunts their nightmares and their waking hours and one by one, they took their place before him in a College Park courtroom to finally detail the physical and mental anguish they continue to endure.

While in return, the paranoid delusional, tormented man rose to offer the briefest of apologies. “I realize how much pain and trouble I’ve caused to society, my family and the victims,” he said in a small voice before being taken back to his cell.

And that is where he should remain for a good long time.

Makhniashvili, 51, has pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault. At his sentence hearing Thursday, court heard he’s been diagnosed with delusional disorder and defence lawyer Calvin Barry said it was stress over his daughter Mariam’s 2009 disappearance that precipitated his uncharacteristic violence.

He assured Justice Rebecca Rutherford that his remorseful client will take psychiatric medication and asked that Makhniashvili be sentenced to just one more year on top of the 11 months and 19 days he’s already spent behind bars.

But after hearing from his emotional victims, that can hardly be enough.

On May 7, 2010, Sean Ure and his wife were bathing their seven-month-old son Liam when there was a knock on their apartment door. Without warning, his “very violent and enraged” neighbour across the hall had plunged a knife into the 26-year-old’s abdomen, cutting him so deep that he was left holding his insides with his bloodied hands.

Makhniashvili had just learned that a decomposed body had been found and in his delusional state, believed his neighbours were responsible for killing his daughter.

“When I try to sleep at night I often see his eyes ripping into me,” the young, red bearded man said, reading his victim impact statement. “I will never forget the rage that Vakhtang had in them.”

Ure now has a scar from his ribs to his navel and spent months recuperating where he couldn’t work or even change his baby’s diaper. “I will never forget,” he said softly, “and forgiveness is very unlikely.”

His partner Sonja Dodd says their son still wakes screaming from nightmares while she can’t shake the terror of what might have been. “What if I had answered the door with Liam in my arms?” she asked.

It was then Delores Langer’s turn to take the stand. The elegant woman took several moments to compose herself before describing in heartbreaking detail how she’s a shadow of the strong, outgoing chef and volunteer she used to be.

Her only mistake was once trusting and posting bail for Makhniashvili.

On Nov. 4, 2010, just days after his son George mysteriously went missing for 13 hours, Makhniashvili viciously attacked both Langer and her husband David, holding his former sureties somehow responsible for a negative newspaper article written about him.

He stabbed Langer right through the arm, severing the nerves, tendons, and muscle fibres to the point that her left hand is now permanently disfigured and paralysed. Unable to work, drive or even do up her bra, she’s dependent on her husband for even the simplest tasks and is mired in constant pain. “I want to end my life so he doesn’t have to be constantly at my side taking care of me,” she said, her voice dissolving into sobs.

Her husband fought back his own tears as he took her place.

He was stabbed in the lower intestine, broke his right shoulder in their struggle and almost severed his left thumb trying to remove the knife . But far worse, the private investigator said, was not being able to rescue his wife.

“I was lying on my back and Vakhtang was chasing my wife with a knife and I couldn’t help,” he recalled. “She was screaming and he was attacking her and that’s something I really regret.”

Makhniashvili’s pain can’t excuse the pain he’s caused others. For his “senseless and gratuitous violence,” prosecutor John Cisorio is seeking an eight to 10 year sentence less his 11 months in custody.

The judge has reserved her decision until Dec. 8.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/10/20/makhniashvili-deserves-strong-sentence

Calvin Barry, Criminal Lawyer

Daughter’s disappearance may have sparked delusions, sentencing hearing told

Published On Thu Oct 20 2011

When his teenage daughter, Mariam, disappeared without a trace in 2009, Vakhtang Makhniashvili snapped.

He stabbed three people last year, and his actions were likely caused by the delusional disorder he developed after the disappearance, according to a court-ordered psychiatric assessment.

Makhniashvili has pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault for attacks motivated by “paranoid delusions” about his neighbours and former surety, his lawyer, Calvin Barry, told the sentencing hearing Thursday.

Makhniashvili stood up to apologize in court.

“I realize how much pain I’ve caused to society, to my victims, to my family and to myself,” he said quietly.

The pain has been extreme. Makhniashvili’s victims struggled to keep their composure when they read their impact statements.

“I am subjected to this nightmare constantly,” said Sean Ure, whose “insides spilled into his hands” after his neighbour stabbed him in the gut in May 2010.

His injuries left him unable to work or care for his 7-month-old son. His family moved for fear of their lives.

“I’ll never forget the terror of that man standing in our hallway or the look in his eyes,” said his partner, Sonja Dobb.

Makhniashvili’s attack may have been triggered because a body had been found nearby the same week, although it wasn’t Mariam and Ure had nothing to do with it, Barry said.

Makhniashvili was subsequently released on $50,000 bail. David Langer and his wife, Delores (Rosie), were his surety.

The Langers originally met him through a Facebook group that was searching for Mariam. Langer used to be a private detective and he “put his trust in Vakhtang 100 per cent,” he said.

But seven months later, Makhniashvili violently attacked the Langers at their Leslieville home — the identical offence for which he was out on bail.

This time, the violence may have been triggered by an 11-hour disappearance of Makhniashvili’s son, the subject of an unfavourable article by Star columnist Rosie DiManno.

Makhniashvili mistakenly thought the Langers were responsible for DiManno’s story. He drove to their house, knocked on the door and attacked them both.

Since the assault, the Langers have dealt with disturbing nightmares, constant fear, disabilities and pain, they told the court.

The injury to Delores Langer’s left arm caused paralysis in her hand.

She is severely depressed as she can no longer cook (her profession) or garden (her passion), and she depends on her husband to help her with daily activities such as brushing her hair or zipping up her pants, she said.

“I wanted to take my life,” she said, describing a day this summer. She is under psychiatric care.

David Langer, who required surgery for the wounds in his stomach, was emotional when he took the stand. The worst part, he said, is seeing his wife suffer.

The Langers are now too afraid to answer their front door. They held hands as they sat a metre and a half away from their assailant.

In an interview outside the courtroom, Makhniashvili’s wife, Lela Tabidze, said she is hopeful treatment will be a “step towards recovery.” Hearing the victims read their statements was the “toughest moment,” she said.

“Our main task is to find our daughter,” she added, saying they still hope she is alive.

Barry has recommended that on top of Makhniashvili’s 11 months in custody, he serve another year and two weeks plus three years of probation.

Crown Attorney John Cisorio is seeking a term of eight to 10 years.

Justice Rebecca Rutherford is expected to deliver her decision Dec. 8.

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/article/1073336--daughter-s-disappearance-may-have-sparked-delusions-sentencing-hearing-told

Monday, November 14, 2011

Calvin Barry Makes Charitable Donation

Very Big Thank You!


Dear Calvin,

"Africa Comes Alive" was an enormous success- thanks to you!

For all of you who made it out to Maro- thank you for coming to support our efforts. we appreciated that very much.

And thanks to everyone who sponsored children in A Hi Kulene! Be sure to send me their names so we can meet them the next time we are there. How exciting is that?

One more big thank you for your donations and for purchasing items in the live and silent auctions. We will match every cent raised and it all goes towards helping children and their families in A Hi Kulene! Your support from the evening will help finish the school project we are so excited about!

If you weren't able to attend or didn't get around to making a donation or sponsoring a child (so much going on in the evening!), you can still do so by calling Patrick Diltz at World Vision at (866) 825-1697.

Together we have made the lives of many children better!! I hope that feeling lasts for all of you through the weekend and beyond! Have a good one!

Love, Joan



http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=akie9xhab&v=001UIzoyTILna3pjSyuPoXOKkH2rl6tFY1rHKNJvIxyzgjDAbeqkaarQqWh6O7VuSr29jNH_MYAkGjFLKLPB7zYGbmnroFzH9koxsrWxjXEazWxxzW9doschx0Y4_-F06QrrE_-QpqK2t0%3D

Friday, November 11, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seventh suspicious package found at Halloween party store

Amazing Party Store owner Shawn Hamilton described the placing of suspected explosives in his store as "business terrorism."


Police uncovered yet another suspicious package inside the Amazing Party Store late Tuesday afternoon, bringing to seven the number of suspicious devices found there since Friday night.

The latest package was discovered by investigators who were combing through the Etobicoke costume store after a sixth suspicious package was found around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Toronto police Staff Sgt. Jim Walker

The fifth suspicious package was also found early Tuesday, around 5 a.m. In a news release, police confirmed that the first six devices had been safely defused without injuries to people or damage to the store.

The bomb squad was on the scene to examine the seventh package, which CP24 news reported was found in a black leather bag. At this point, police do not know how or when the packages got into the store. It is unknown if all of them were planted at once or over time.

“The items are sophisticated and are capable of causing serious bodily harm or death,” said Insp. Gerry Cashman. He added “they are the real deal,” and put together by someone who knows what they are doing.

Amazing Party Store has been shut down since Monday night, when police bomb squad officers were called in to investigate a fourth suspicious package that was found around 7:30 p.m.

It reopened Monday morning after bomb scares Friday and Saturday forced it to close for most of the weekend.

Councillor Mark Grimes of Etobicoke-Lakeshore says the situation is regrettable and shocking.

“We recognize that many local businesses have been closed and suffered lost revenue due to this investigation, and thank them for their cooperation during this difficult time,” said Grimes. “I have every confidence in the Toronto Police Services that they will resolve this matter in a timely manner.”

Store owner Shawn Hamilton had estimated he lost more than $300,000 in business during the lucrative run-up to Halloween.

“It is business terrorism because I was targeted on the three most important days of my year,” Hamilton said. “We can never get those sales back because this Halloween season is over, Saturday being the most crucial day because that’s when most of the parties are on.

“Myself personally, my family, my staff and my customers were terrorized from the suspicious packages that were left at our store.”

As of Monday, the Toronto police organized crime unit took over the investigation, said spokesman Victor Kwong.

The chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear unit dismantled the first package, and the explosive disposal unit (part of the Emergency Task Force) took apart the four other packages.

Police are unclear whether the devices posed a danger but dismantled them because “they couldn’t determine that it wasn’t harmful,” said Kwong. He could not specify the type of explosives found.

With files from Gustavo Vieira and Kirsten Parucha and Peter Edwards

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/article/1079286--sixth-suspicious-package-found-at-halloween-party-store

Calvin Barry Attends Osgoode Hall Class of 1986 Reunion

Calvin Barry Sponsors Thunder Bay Kings Hockey Player Cale Leeson, Assistant Captain

Seventh suspicious package found at costume store

An Etobicoke Halloween store is forced to close its doors after a fifth suspicious package is discovered, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. (Tom Stefanac / CTV News)

ctvtoronto.ca

Date: Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011 10:25 PM ET

A seventh suspicious package has been found inside a costume store in Etobicoke, Ont., that has been "terrorized" by explosive devices over the Halloween weekend.

Toronto police said Tuesday afternoon that they had discovered another suspicious package inside the Amazing Party and Costume Store, located near the Gardiner Expressway and Islington Avenue.

The package was found inside a black leather bag hidden beneath some paper bags in the store, CP24 reported.

Two others have been discovered since police closed down the store Monday evening.

Police say all seven packages contained explosives, forcing two evacuations and days of closure over the busy Halloween weekend.

The organized crime unit has taken over the police investigation, which is something the store owner's lawyer, Calvin Barry, said is "suspicious and doesn't bode well in terms of who'd be doing this."

Scare began Friday

A bomb squad was called to the business for the first time on Friday, after staff found a suspicious package.

Two more packages were found at the location over the weekend – one by a police sniffer dog and another by an officer while searching through the store's inventory. A bomb disposal robot was used to remove them from the scene.

The store re-opened on Monday only to be closed again when a staff member discovered a fourth explosive package. Police say a fifth device was uncovered during their search early Tuesday morning.

The sixth device was uncovered Tuesday afternoon, forcing neighbouring businesses to remain closed while police searched the building.

Police have confirmed the first five packages contained a mixture of explosives, although they would not say what kind.

"They are active devices; they do have the potential to cause serious harm or death, or serious property damage," Insp. Gerry Cashman told reporters before noon on Tuesday.

Councillor Mark Grimes said the timing of the bomb scares was particularly bad.

"That this should happen during Halloween when there usually a high traffic of children, parents and customers in general is regrettable and shocking," he said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Grimes also noted that the costume store and several nearby businesses have lost revenue as a result of the incidents.

The Amazing Party and Costume Store confirmed the discovery of the first explosive device in a statement posted to its website over the weekend.

"There are no words to express the gratitude we feel towards our loyal customers, suppliers and neighbours for their support and understanding during this act of terrorism," the satement said.


http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111101/halloween-costume-store-close-bomb-scare-111101/20111101/?hub=TorontoNewHome

Bomb threats ruin Halloween at party store

Anita Li and Peter Edwards
Staff Reporters

Halloween was ruined for management at the Amazing Party Store on Monday evening when the bomb squad was called in — yet again — to investigate a suspicious package.

“It’s a suspicious device so they’ll have to take their time,” Staff Sgt. Jim Walker said an hour after officers evacuated the costume store off the Gardiner Expressway at Islington Ave.

Calvin Barry, lawyer for the store’s owner, Shawn Hamilton, said the popular party supplier had been targeted for “business terrorism.”

“I feel so sorry for the guy,” Barry said. “This is the time when he makes his money.”

It was the latest in a string of bomb scare shutdowns over the past few days at the Amazing Party Store.

The store reopened Monday morning after bomb scares forced it to close for most of the weekend before Halloween.

The store closed Friday afternoon after a suspicious device was discovered, but reopened later that evening.

It closed again Saturday morning after two more devices were found, and reopened 9 a.m. Monday, intending to serve customers until midnight.

Employees then rallied with a brief effort to spread Halloween cheer.

Wearing a bright red nose, rainbow wig, striped purple pants and checkered suspenders, Brandon Timney sauntered past aisles of demon masks and severed body parts. “People need cheering up today,” he said to customers with a smile.

On Monday morning, Hamilton was asked how he would make up for lost business.

“It’s going to be a busy day for me,” he said. “I have people to service, and to organize 50 staff, and try to salvage the last day of Halloween.”

At that point, Hamilton said he lost over $300,000 in business. To make up for it, he was offering a 50 per cent discount on all merchandise from Monday to this Saturday. Typically, the store only cuts prices in half on Nov. 1.

“It is business terrorism because I was targeted on the three most important days of my year,” Hamilton said. “We can never get those sales back because this Halloween season is over, Saturday being the most crucial day because that’s when most of the parties are on.

“Myself personally, my family, my staff and my customers were terrorized from the suspicious packages that were left at our store.”

Hamilton could not be reached for comment after the latest shutdown at about 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Just after 9 a.m. Monday, around 10 customers browsed the store, which sells an assortment of party supplies, including Halloween costumes and props. Those present took advantage of the sales.

“Everything’s on for 50 per cent off, so that’s a good incentive,” said Theresa Sitter, who wanted to buy a frog costume.

Other customers came out to support Hamilton.

“It’s kind of an institution in Toronto,” said Mark Halden. “So to be shut down there, he took a massive hit. Considering the economic times, I feel bad for him.”

Halden added he was unconcerned about the bomb threats because police secured the store over the weekend.

A customer found a suspicious package in the store Friday afternoon, and pointed it out to employees, said police spokesman Victor Kwong. The police chemical biological, radiological and nuclear unit responded and defused the device.

The Emergency Task Force, bomb disposal squad and canine unit were called in Saturday after an employee found the second device, which police defused by water cannon. After sweeping the store, officers found a third device, which they dismantled by robot.

Police are unclear whether the devices posed a danger but defused them because “they couldn’t determine that it wasn’t harmful,” said Kwong. He could not specify the type of explosives found.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1078575

Seventh bag of explosives found at party store

Tue Nov. 01 2011 8:26:32 PM |Web Staff, cp24.com

A Toronto police robot is pictured outside Amazing Party and Costume on Oxford Street in Etobicoke after a fifth suspicious device was found in four days Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. (CP24/Tom Stefanac)


A police bomb squad robot is pictured outside Amazing Party and Costume Store in Etobicoke on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, after explosive devices were found. (MyBreakingNews/Kelly Wallace)

The Toronto Police' organized crime unit is heading an investigation into the attempted bombing of an Etobicoke party store after seven packages of explosives were found on the property.

Police stepped up their investigation after officers found three suspicious packages at the Amazing Party and Costume store on Tuesday, bringing the total of suspicious packages found since Friday to seven. All seven packages contained potential explosives, police confirmed.

"This is not a prank. [The explosives] are the real deal," said Toronto Police 22 Division Insp. Gerry Cashman, speaking to reporters Tuesday. "They are being set up by somebody who has some knowledge of how to make these devices. They are very dangerous and could have caused certain bodily harm, death and serious property damage if it had gone off."

All of the packages were safely detonated by police experts. No one was injured.

Authorities said having the organized crime unit investigate the case does not necessarily mean the popular store was targeted by members of organized crime.

The shop was forced to close several times over the last few days as police, staff and even a customer found packages containing explosive devices.

The seventh package was found in a leather bag under a pile of paper bags at around 5 p.m. The sixth package was found near the front of the store at about 11:30 a.m. as 12 officers swept the building for evidence. The fifth package was found hours before at 5:30 a.m. A fourth package was found on Halloween night.

Police are remaining mum on suspects but say they are looking closely at footage from surveillance cameras on the property.

Cashman said inspectors are taking painstaking steps to ensure the property is free of any more explosives.

Police have set up a large security perimeter around the store as a safety precaution, cutting off access to some neighbouring businesses.

Police reopened the area to the public shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

The store is expected to reopen Wednesday.

The discoveries of the fourth and fifth package of explosives occurred almost 12 hours after the store, located on Oxford Street near the Gardiner Expressway and Islington Avenue, reopened after being shut down for most of the weekend.

'Business terrorism'

Staff closed the store after a customer spotted the first suspicious device on Friday, but it reopened later in the day. However, more explosives were found and store owner Sean Hamilton was forced to close the store for the rest of the weekend leading up to Halloween and miss out on some of the biggest sales days of the year.

Hamilton is calling the incident a case of "business terrorism."

His lawyer Calvin Barry told reporters Tuesday afternoon that Hamilton is concerned about the safety of his family and employees.

Police searched the store all weekend and cleared the scene Sunday night, allowing Hamilton to reopen Monday morning.

Hamilton said police told him the building was deemed safe for employees and customers.

It's not known if the fourth and fifth devices were placed in the store after it reopened or if they had been there for days and weren't discovered during the earlier police search.

Hamilton said he has lost about $500,000 in revenue because of this incident.

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111101/111101_suspicious_packages/20111101/?hub=CP24Home
Costume store owner vows to find bomb-scare culprits


ctvtoronto.ca

Date: Wednesday Nov. 2, 2011 9:56 PM ET

The man whose party supply store has been the target of recurring bomb scares over the past week says he's resorting to "underground sources" to help find the culprits.

Shawn Hamilton, owner of the Amazing Party and Costume Store, made the comment to reporters on Wednesday.

When asked whether by "underground" he was referring to organized crime, Hamilton replied: "I'm not even going to get into that."

The bomb scares took place over the busy Halloween weekend, forcing the Etobicoke store to close temporarily. Hamilton claims the ordeal has cost him $500,000 in lost sales.

"I am going to come after the people who are doing this," Hamilton said, announcing a $10,000 public reward for the identity of the people responsible for placing seven explosive devices inside his business.

"It is your turn to be terrorized and frightened that you are going to be found by the thousands of hours that the police and the government and the underground and the public are going to be searching for you."

The Toronto police's organized crime unit has joined the investigation at the store, which is located near the Gardiner Expressway and Islington Avenue.

Police had left the area by Wednesday afternoon, but Hamilton said he had not received word that he could re-open.

Hamilton said he has not been contacted by those responsible to explain why explosives were left in his store and demanded that those behind the "business terrorism" come forward.

"If this is a competitor that is doing this for money: stop being so greedy, stop being so lazy," he said. "If this is a personal vendetta against me -- come to me. Don't threaten my business and my employees."

The store owner's lawyer, Calvin Barry, said the fact that the Toronto police's organized crime unit has joined the investigation is "suspicious and doesn't bode well in terms of who'd be doing this."

CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry pointed out that the intervention of the organized crime unit suggests it was a targeted attack, but not necessarily involving a gang.

Police have said all seven packages found in the store contained explosives, and could have been deadly had they detonated.

"They are active devices; they do have the potential to cause serious harm or death, or serious property damage," Insp. Gerry Cashman told reporters on Tuesday.

Scare began Friday

A bomb squad was called to the business for the first time on Friday after staff found a suspicious package.

Two more packages were found at the location over the weekend – one by a police sniffer dog and another by an officer while searching through the store's inventory. A bomb disposal robot was used to remove them from the scene.

The store re-opened on Monday only to be closed again when a staff member discovered a fourth explosive package. Police say a fifth device was uncovered during their search early Tuesday morning.

The sixth and seventh devices were uncovered Tuesday afternoon, forcing neighbouring businesses to remain closed while police searched the building.

Coun. Mark Grimes said the timing of the bomb scares was unfortunate.

"That this should happen during Halloween when there usually a high traffic of children, parents and customers in general is regrettable and shocking," he said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Grimes also noted that the costume store and several nearby businesses have lost revenue as a result of the incidents.

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111102/organized-crime-probes-toronto-bomb-scare-111102/20111102/?hub=TorontoNewHome

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Calvin Barry Hosts Charity Event

We invite you to join us at our upcoming Gala in support of TEAM CJ-AUTISM SPEAKS:

·         Event:    Under the Big Top for AUTISM
Special Guest ~ Roberto Alomar

·         Where:   Liberty Grand ~ TORONTO
·         When:     Thursday ~ November 10, 2011
6:30pm ~ Cocktails
7:30pm ~ Dinner and Show
·                     Tickets: $175 per Ticket 
$1,500 per Table (10 tickets)
·                     For more information on how to purchase tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.autismgala.com and/or reply email to me.
·                     You can also visit us on FB http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=137787236320380

On behalf of TEAM CJ and Autism Speaks, we thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at the Gala.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Calvin Barry Thunder Bay Party

Calvin Barry

Calvin Barry

Calvin Barry

Daughter’s disappearance may have sparked delusions, sentencing hearing told

Daughter’s disappearance may have sparked delusions, sentencing hearing told
Emily Jackson
Staff Reporter

When his teenage daughter, Mariam, disappeared without a trace in 2009, Vakhtang Makhniashvili snapped.

He stabbed three people last year, and his actions were likely caused by the delusional disorder he developed after the disappearance, according to a court-ordered psychiatric assessment.

Makhniashvili has pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault for attacks motivated by “paranoid delusions” about his neighbours and former surety, his lawyer, Calvin Barry, told the sentencing hearing Thursday.

Makhniashvili stood up to apologize in court.

“I realize how much pain I’ve caused to society, to my victims, to my family and to myself,” he said quietly.

The pain has been extreme. Makhniashvili’s victims struggled to keep their composure when they read their impact statements.

“I am subjected to this nightmare constantly,” said Sean Ure, whose “insides spilled into his hands” after his neighbour stabbed him in the gut in May 2010.

His injuries left him unable to work or care for his 7-month-old son. His family moved for fear of their lives.

“I’ll never forget the terror of that man standing in our hallway or the look in his eyes,” said his partner, Sonja Dobb.

Makhniashvili’s attack may have been triggered because a body had been found nearby the same week, although it wasn’t Mariam and Ure had nothing to do with it, Barry said.

Makhniashvili was subsequently released on $50,000 bail. David Langer and his wife, Delores (Rosie), were his surety.

The Langers originally met him through a Facebook group that was searching for Mariam. Langer used to be a private detective and he “put his trust in Vakhtang 100 per cent,” he said.

But seven months later, Makhniashvili violently attacked the Langers at their Leslieville home — the identical offence for which he was out on bail.

This time, the violence may have been triggered by an 11-hour disappearance of Makhniashvili’s son, the subject of an unfavourable article by Star columnist Rosie DiManno.

Makhniashvili mistakenly thought the Langers were responsible for DiManno’s story. He drove to their house, knocked on the door and attacked them both.

Since the assault, the Langers have dealt with disturbing nightmares, constant fear, disabilities and pain, they told the court.

The injury to Delores Langer’s left arm caused paralysis in her hand.

She is severely depressed as she can no longer cook (her profession) or garden (her passion), and she depends on her husband to help her with daily activities such as brushing her hair or zipping up her pants, she said.

“I wanted to take my life,” she said, describing a day this summer. She is under psychiatric care.

David Langer, who required surgery for the wounds in his stomach, was emotional when he took the stand. The worst part, he said, is seeing his wife suffer.

The Langers are now too afraid to answer their front door. They held hands as they sat a metre and a half away from their assailant.

In an interview outside the courtroom, Makhniashvili’s wife, Lela Tabidze, said she is hopeful treatment will be a “step towards recovery.” Hearing the victims read their statements was the “toughest moment,” she said.

“Our main task is to find our daughter,” she added, saying they still hope she is alive.

Barry has recommended that on top of Makhniashvili’s 11 months in custody, he serve another year and two weeks plus three years of probation.

Crown Attorney John Cisorio is seeking a term of eight to 10 years.

Justice Rebecca Rutherford is expected to deliver her decision Dec. 8.

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/article/1073336--daughter-s-disappearance-may-have-sparked-delusions-sentencing-hearing-told

Friday, September 9, 2011

Calvin Barry

Calvin Barry

Calvin Barry- Defence Lawyer

Mom, son fined $1M for insider trading
CBC News
Posted: Sep 2, 2011 2:25 PM ET

A mother and son from Mississauga will have to pay more than $1 million in fines and penalties after they were found guilty of profiting from insider trading on shares in the mother's company.

The Ontario Securities Commission settled with Helen and Paul Kuszper of Mississauga, Ont. on Friday. The two are accused of illegally trading in shares of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. in 2008.

The Kuszpers must give back all profits obtained of $321,772, pay an administrative penalty of $701,690 and pay costs of $30,000.

Mrs. Kuszper was a senior accountant in Kingsway’s investment reporting group. In April and May of 2008, she obtained information about the company's finances and tipped the information to her son before it was released to the public.
In one instance, she gave advance warning to her son that the company would report a $34.4-million net loss in the first quarter.

The two avoided major losses as the share price dropped more than $4 once the information became public, to $9.97 from $14.26.

"In this case, a company employee misappropriated confidential, material information and used it for her own gain and that of her son," OSC enforcement director Tom Atkinson said. "Such conduct is abusive of our capital markets and we will take action accordingly."

Internet and trading records indicated that the trading originated from a computer at Helen's business office, while Paul was living in Antigua, the OSC said.

Helen Kuszper is banned for life from trading securities and acting as an officer or director of a public company, while her son faces the same restrictions for at least 15 years.

With files from The Canadian Press

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/09/02/insider-trading-luszper.html

Calvin Barry

Trial dates set for Black’s son in harassment case
Timothy Appleby
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011 12:44PM EDT

Trial dates have been set for Conrad Black's eldest son, Jonathan, who says he has been singled out for special attention and will plead not guilty to charges of criminal harassment, uttering threats and breaching bail conditions.

In an interview, Mr. Black said he wanted the case resolved as swiftly as possible, and insisted that only because of his father’s troubles has an otherwise ordinary domestic dispute been catapulted into the spotlight, and generated such prosecutorial zeal.

“I’m pleading not guilty to all these charges, and so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I did not threaten anybody, nor do I think this should have been a police matter. … Why I get so much attention … I think I have the answer. It’s because my Dad is Conrad and he has a famous case.”

In a brief hearing at Toronto’s Old City Hall criminal court Tuesday morning, two days were set aside: Dec. 15 and Jan. 17.

The charges against the younger Mr. Black were laid in January, and stem from complaints by a former girlfriend that after their relationship ended, he threatened her and left unwanted text messages on her phone.

Mr. Black, a 33-year-old bond trader, was freed on bail while awaiting trial on those charges. Police allege that he then began harassing his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend; he was arrested and charged a second time in March.

He did not appear in court, although shortly before the hearing, his lawyer, Calvin Barry, said he expected his client would attend.

On Sept. 6, his father, Conrad Black, will return to prison in Florida, near Miami, where he is to complete the final 13 months of a reduced, 42-month term.

Convicted in 2007 of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice over the misappropriation of $6.1-million (U.S.) at Chicago-based Hollinger International Inc., the fallen media mogul, now 66, has always insisted he was innocent of the crimes with which he was charged. Lord Black described his long-running battles with the U.S. justice system as “idiotic nonsense” in a recent newspaper interview.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/trial-dates-set-for-blacks-son-in-harassment-case/article2147113/

Calvin Barry

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SUN NEWS- Calvin Barry

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/explaining-sentencing/1138415630001
Explaining sentencing
September 1, 2011 10:33
Jack Tobin got a 3-year sentence for the drunk-driving death of his friend. Criminal laywer Calvin Barry explains the system and sentencing for drunk driving cases.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1138415630001

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Calvin Barry, Criminal Lawyer

Conrad Black's son to plead not guilty
By Michele Mandel ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 01:52 PM EDT

From left to right: Jonathan Black, defence attorney Calvin Barry, a court clerk and Judge Judge Faith Finnestad in this July 28 court sketch. (PAM DAVIES/Toronto Sun)

Conrad Black’s son will plead not guilty when he goes to trial in December on charges of criminal harassment and threatening bodily harm after an ex-girlfriend complained to police.

Jonathan Black, 33, was not in Old City Hall Tuesday morning when a judge was told that a scheduled June trial date had been postponed in hopes of reaching a “resolution” with the bond trader but now a trial will proceed on Dec. 15.

“He’s fine, he’s a professional and he’s pleading not guilty,” his lawyer, Calvin Barry, said outside the court.

Black was charged in December 2010 after his former girlfriend told Toronto Police that he would not leave her alone after the end of their one-year “tumultuous” relationship, calling and messaging her repeatedly and once leaving her as many as 60 text messages.

Black was released on bail on condition he not contact her again. Instead, police allege he resumed calling and texting, often to label her new boyfriend a “loser.”

He was charged again in March.

Black goes on trial Dec. 15 for the first set of charges and Jan. 17, 2012, for the second.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/30/conrad-blacks-son-to-plead-not-guilty

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Calvin Barry Defends Macdermid Ermacora

Posted by Marianne Boucher Friday, August 19, 2011


http://www.courtsillustrated.com/

Calvin Barry Defends Jonathan Black


http://www.courtsillustrated.com/

Posted by Marianne Boucher Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Calvin Barry, Defence Lawyer for Ermacora

http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/home/contentposting?feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20110824%2fcharges-upgraded-in-racquel-junio-death-110824


Clink link to view video of Calvin Barry on the Ermacora case.


Calvin Barry, Criminal Lawyer

Wed Aug 24, 09:50 PM

Charge upgraded to murder in death of Racquel Junio

ctvtoronto.ca

Gary Murray, 42, left, appears in a Brampton court to face an accessory to murder charge after the fact in connection with the death of Racquel Junio, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011.

Two men accused of abducting a Brampton, Ont. woman found dead last week appeared in court on Wednesday after learning their assault charges had been upgraded.

Macdermid Ermacora, 43, has been charged with first-degree murder and Gary Murray, 42, faces a charge of accessory to murder after the fact in connection with the death of Racquel Junio.

Both men also face charges of kidnapping and forcible confinement.

Junio, 42, went missing on Aug. 18 after police received a call that she had been forced into a black Ford pickup truck outside a home she shared with Ermacora, her estranged husband.

Her body was found in a pond in Palgrave, Ont., over the weekend, nearly 30 kilometers from her home. Police said her body showed obvious signs of trauma. An autopsy was conducted on Monday, but the results have not been made public.

Calvin Barry, Ermacora's lawyer, said the tragic event was traumatizing for everyone involved in the case, after Ermacora requested medical attention at Maplehurst Correctional Complex, where his is being held.


"A lot of people have conditions when they're in confined spaces and when they're dealing with these type of issues," he said.


Gary Batasar, Murray's lawyer, said his client has "got himself in a situation that we're going to fight vigorously and defend the case through the courts."


"It's very hard for us to believe what happened because he's not that kind of person," said Sandra Casciato, an acquaintance of Ermacora and Junio.


Casciato said she remembered Ermacora was upset in the weeks before his wife was killed.


"He was crying, he was upset that she was taking everything, he didn't know how to deal with it," she said.

Peel police have stressed that the investigation into Junio's death is still ongoing. Investigators have said that they are still trying to fill in a timeline of what happened the night she went missing.

Ermacora and Murray are both expected to return to a Brampton courtroom for a bail hearing on Aug. 29. Due to the severity of the charges, it's not expected it will be granted for the next few weeks or months.

Anyone who may have seen Ermacora's pickup truck on Thursday morning or anyone with more information is asked to call Peel Regional Police at 905- 453-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

With files from CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry.

http://m.ctv.ca/topstories/20110824/charges-upgraded-in-racquel-junio-death-110824.html

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Calvin Barry, Defence Attorney

Brampton man charged as search for missing wife resumes

2011/08/19 | Marcia Chen, CityNews.ca staff

Homicide detectives continued their search for a 42-year-old Brampton woman Friday morning, as a judge ordered her estranged husband to remain in custody.

Macdermid Ermacora, 43, has been charged with kidnapping, forcible confinement and assault in connection with the alleged abduction of Raquel Junio.

At the bail hearing in a Brampton court, Crown lawyer Steve Sherriff appealed to Ermacora to “come to his senses” and reveal Junio’s whereabouts. He called the case “most serious” and said he would seek a life sentence.

He will be back in court next Wednesday.

Police said Ermacora was checked into hospital on Thursday for a personal condition. Those who know him told CityNews he has suffered from mental illness in the past.

"He's very tired and everything happened so quickly. He is not guilty. It's an allegation," said Ermacora’s lawyer, Calvin Barry. "We have to see where it goes, it's very early in the investigation."

The search for Junio will include the Brampton area and Nottawasaga, northwest of Toronto, where Ermacora’s family reportedly has property.

Witnesses told police they saw Ermacora force Junio into a black pickup truck outside a home near Steeles Avenue East and Torbram Road before heading north early Thursday morning.

Officers arrested him near Queen Street East and Rutherford Road more than six hours later and found the vehicle nearby.

They are asking anyone who might have seen the truck between 1:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. Thursday to call them. Peel police released a video of the truck on Friday afternoon.

Junio is Filipina, five-feet-two-inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and has shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information should call Peel Regional Police at (905) 453-2121, ext. 2133 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/149282--brampton-man-charged-as-search-for-missing-wife-resumes
Husband charged with murder in Brampton kidnapping

Trinity Radio Toronto / News / Breaking News and Upcoming Events / Husband charged with murder in Brampton kidnapping


A Brampton man now faces a first-degree murder charge in the kidnapping and slaying of his wife.


Macdermid Ermacora, 43, is also charged with kidnapping and forcible confinement in last weeks abduction of Raquel Junio from the familys Deerfield Cres. home.


Junios body was recovered Saturday night from a small lake in Palgrave, north of Bolton.


A justice of the peace in Brampton court today ordered Ermacora not to have contact with several people, but prohibited publication of their names.


Former Crown attorney Calvin Barry, now a defence lawyer, appeared on behalf of Ermacora, who wore a wrinkled white t-shirt and stood silently in the prisoners dock.


He is to return to court again on Aug. 29.


Another man, Gary Murray of Brampton, is also charged with kidnapping and confining Junio. He is also charged with being an accessory after the fact in Junios slaying.


Murray was ordered to appear Thursday in Brampton court for a bail hearing.


http://trinityradio.ca/torontonew/news/husband-charged-with-murder-in-brampton-kidnapping

Friday, August 5, 2011

Calvin Barry- Lawyer for VAIVE

Former Leaf Vaive testifies he felt fine to drive

Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive outside a Newmarket courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.

The Canadian Press

Date: Friday Aug. 5, 2011 2:33 PM ET

NEWMARKET, Ont. — Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive says he broke his own rule about drinking and driving the day he was arrested and charged by police.

Vaive told a Newmarket, Ont., court today he normally doesn't drive after having three drinks, but took the wheel after having six beers at a golf game on July 14, 2009.

He was arrested that night in Vaughan, Ont., just north of Toronto, and charged with impaired driving and driving with over 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Vaive, 52, maintains he wasn't drunk and felt fine to drive from the golf course in Gravenhurst, Ont., to his home in Oakville, Ont., about a three-hour trip.

If convicted, Vaive could face for each charge a minimum fine of $1,000 and maximum of five years in prison for a first offence.

Vaive became the first player to score 50 goals in a season for the Maple Leafs in 1981-82, a feat he repeated the following two seasons.


http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110805/rick-vaive-impaired-driving-trial-110805/20110805/?hub=TorontoNewHome

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Calvin Barry and Mason Millar Defend Rick Vaive

Vaive testifies at his drunk driving trial
Michele Mandel
Yesterday at 8:25 PM



Former Leafs captain Rick Vaive leaves the Newmarket courthouse on Wednesday. (STAN BEHAL, Toronto Sun)

NEWMARKET — You couldn’t help but cringe in sympathy and embarrassment for former Leafs captain Rick Vaive.

But I guess that was the idea.

Taking the stand in his own defence on impaired driving charges, Vaive took a deep breath and confessed that he’s always had a bladder control problem and even has to carry an empty Gatorade bottle in the car with him wherever he goes.

“The bottle was full that day unfortunately,” he testified Wednesday.

That humiliating admission — elicited by his own lawyer — seems designed to explain why Vaive had a urine stain on his shorts when he was arrested for drunk driving and brought into the York Regional Police station two years ago.

So incontinence — not alcohol — was to blame.

Vaive said he lied when he told police he’d only had one beer that day. In fact, he said he drank six cans of Coors Light while golfing with his former hockey buddies in Gravenhurst but maintained he wasn’t impaired. “I thought my ability to drive was fine, I had no problem with it,” he insisted. “If I had of, I wouldn’t have driven.”

At about 8 p.m. on July 14, 2009, Vaive was on his way home to Oakville in his Ford F-150 pickup truck when he was pulled over by police on the southbound Hwy. 427 ramp from Hwy. 407. A witness had reported seeing him driving erratically in a Woodbridge parking lot. Handcuffed and placed in the cruiser, he was taken back to the station where he was charged with impaired driving after police say he blew more than twice the legal alcohol limit.

The news didn’t leak out to the media until several months later. Vaive, 52, has pleaded not guilty in the judge-alone trial before Justice Anne-Marie Hourigan.

After the Crown closed its case — the trial opened in February and was adjourned until now due to scheduling difficulties — the former Leafs star was called to the witness box.

It was finally his turn to give his side of the story. His turn to repolish a tarnished image.

The first Leaf to ever score more than 50 goals in one season, Vaive was team captain from 1982 to 1986, before being stripped of the C for missing a practice. Court heard the retired 14-year hockey player earns his living these days with public appearances, speaking engagements and stints on a few corporate boards all because of his former NHL status.

His image then is obviously key and yet the silver-haired father of two readily admitted to a multitude of physical and emotional ailments — including anxiety that requires a daily dose of Clonazepam, sleep apnea, a weak bladder, hip and prostate problems.

Yet his reputation can withstand all those far better than a conviction for impaired driving. And so Vaive blamed them all for his behaviour following his arrest while maintaining he was not drunk. He told the court he only lied to police because of nerves.

“Have you been consuming alcohol?” the cop had asked him during the video recorded breathalyzer test.

“Not today,” Vaive replied. “I had one beer.”

“Okay, that’s alcohol,” the officer pointed out. “Just one?”

“Right,” a weary Vaive responded. “It would have been about 2 o’clock.”

He now says he had his sixth beer at about 5 p.m. before heading home from cottage country. The former hockey great told defence lawyer Mason Millar that he didn’t tell the truth initially because he’d been up all night playing cards and was overtired and nervous.

“It was something I’d never been through before and it was something that just came out,” Vaive explained.

The defence seems to be suggesting the breathalyzer was mistaken. Cross-examined by Millar, the Crown toxicologist had testified that a 6-foot-1, 218-pound man — Vaive’s vitals at the time — who drank six cans of light beer between noon and 5 p.m. would not blow over the limit three hours later.

With the day of embarrassing admissions finally over and his cross-examination scheduled for Friday, the former Leafs captain left the courthouse with media cameras chasing him down the parking lot.

But no one else seemed to even know who he was.

Read Mandel Wednesday through Saturday.

michele.mandel@sunmedia.ca or 416-947-2231

http://m.torontosun.com/2011/08/03/vaive-testifies-at-his-drunk-driving-trial

Friday, July 29, 2011

Calvin Barry, Toronto Lawyer

Conrad's son faces own legal problems

By Michele Mandel ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 7:53:29 EDT PM


Jonathan Black, son of Conrad Black, sits in prisoner's box while his attorney, Calvin Barry, speaks to Judge Faith Finnistad at Old City Hall court on Thursday. (PAM DAVIES/Illustration)

TORONTO - While Conrad Black is enjoying his last days of freedom before heading back to an American prison, his eldest son is undergoing his own legal troubles right here at home.

Dressed in a smart grey suit and lavender shirt, Jonathan Black looked uncomfortably out of place Thursday in the crowded legal zoo that is Old City Hall.

Home to petty thieves, panhandlers and guilty pleas, busy Courtroom 112 with its roaring air conditioner and assembly line justice is far from the cushy Bay St. environs more typical for the bond trader and former model.

But here he is, nonetheless, on charges of criminal harassment, uttering threats and breach of probation.

I’ve watched his father many times in a Chicago courtroom and though the elder is obviously much older and heavier, the resemblance is striking. With his reddish hair, he’s reminiscent of a more handsome Conan O’Brien and in his younger days, he reportedly graced the cover of European magazines.

But we are far from the glamour world here.

Black, 33, was charged in December 2010 after his former girlfriend complained to Toronto Police that following their split after a one-year “tumultuous” relationship, he would not leave her alone, calling and messaging her repeatedly, once leaving as many as 60 text messages on her phone.

Black was released on bail on condition he not contact her again. Instead, police allege he resumed calling and texting, often to label her new boyfriend a “loser”.

He was charged again in March.

As it turns out, this wasn’t the first time the younger Black was in the chaotic court. Almost exactly three years ago, he was in Old City Hall to plead guilty to ramming his Infiniti into a stopped minivan in the financial district and then driving away.

His criminal charges were bumped down to Highway Traffic Act violations and he was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines for failing to remain at the scene, driving under suspension, and following too closely.

And that wasn’t his first brush with the law, either. According to previous media reports, the then 19-year-old part-time model was given a suspended sentence for making threats to cause bodily harm to a man and a woman.

A few weeks earlier, he had been released on $2,000 bail after being accused of uttering a death threat to another man. The court then ordered him to avoid alcohol, non-prescribed drugs and the company of criminals, and to reside at the Homewood Sanitorium in Guelph. The charge was later withdrawn.

So this wasn’t all new to him then. But before he could get this over with, there was the matter of a Mr. McDonald on the long morning docket.

With the air blowing, spectators in spandex minis loudly talking and the lack of microphone, we didn’t catch his first name. He came into the prisoner’s box with the bright orange jumpsuit of the Don Jail, long unkempt hair and a wide smile. He’d been charged with panhandling yet again in traffic under the Gardiner Expressway. He’d been picked up three days before and was now before Justice Faith Finnestad, ready to plead guilty.

The kindly judge decided to sentence him to the three days he’s already served but warned that he may not get so lucky the next time before a different justice. So she warned him to stay away from weaving among the stopped cars along Lake Shore Blvd. “It is not the crime of the century but it is a nuisance. Motorists are probably complaining and the police probably have other things to do than watch for you under the Gardiner.”

And, she pointed out, he does receive a monthly Ontario Disability check and has shelter staff willing to help him.

“That should be enough,” she told him. “So don’t go back.”

To which the gentleman heartily agreed and court was cleared for the morning break.

By the time we reconvened, the younger Black was nowhere to be seen. He’d obviously witnessed enough and with the agreement of the Crown, was allowed to leave the brief appearance to his lawyer Calvin Barry.

But the younger Black can only avoid the day of reckoning for so long.

He’s scheduled to be back in the same court at the end of August, about the same time his father heads back to prison.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/07/28/jonathan-black-faces-court-like-dad-conrad