N.S. judge rejects publication ban in murder trial

SYDNEY, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia judge has refused to impose a publication ban on the first of two trials for a man accused in separate murders of young Cape Breton women.

See Full Article

In February 2013, police in Cape Breton charged Thomas Ted Barrett with second-degree murder in the deaths of Elizabeth MacKinnon and Laura Jessome in cases six years apart.

Both of the victims were 21 years old.

MacKinnon was last seen in early June 2006 and was reported missing on July 13th of that year. On November 21, 2008, local residents found her remains near a hiking trail on the outskirts of Glace Bay.

Jessome was last seen on May 2, 2012, in the New Aberdeen area of Glace Bay. Her remains were discovered May 25 in a hockey bag floating on the Mira River near Marion Bridge.

Barrett, of Glace Bay, was already in custody in Halifax when he was charged.

At the time, the chief of Cape Breton Regional Police said the investigation took police to jurisdictions across the country.

"This is stuff that we read about in other parts of the world," Peter McIsaac said. "It was horrific to our community to learn this kind of stuff."

Barrett's lawyer sought the publication ban because he was concerned media coverage of the first trial could influence jury deliberations in the second.

Judge Robin Gogan, in a decision released Friday, said she sought to balance Barrett's right to a fair trial and the public's right to freedom of expression, including freedom of the press.

Gogan concluded there is some risk to his fair trial, but she said the evidence fails to establish that it is a "real and substantial risk."

She noted the trials are scheduled to begin about nine months apart. His first, by judge alone, is scheduled for Jan. 18, and the second, to be heard by a jury, is set for Sept, 12, 2016.

"Further, I find that any risk created by the publication of the details of the first trial and the proximity to the second trial can be alleviated by the measures available," the decision says.

Gogan said that risk can be reduced at the second trial by the challenge-for-cause process, in which defence and Crown lawyers determine whether potential jurors have formed fixed opinions about the case, and by jury instruction.

A lawyer for the CBC and the Cape Breton Post argued the accused had not provided enough evidence to warrant a ban that would curtail the constitutional rights of the media and the public.

Four other men were also charged in the cases, three of them with being an accessory after the fact.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Budget 2019: Liberals add $4.5B for Indigenous services as reconciliation effort continues

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal Liberal government plans to spend $4.5 billion over the next five years to try to narrow the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people — part of a plan to keep reconciliation at the forefront of this fall's campaign narrative. Source
  • Canadian identified as alleged informant in U.S. college admissions scandal

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Morrie Tobin, the Montreal native named in reports as the central figure who exposed an alleged college admissions scam in the United States, was described Tuesday by those who knew him as someone who stood out for his athleticism and drive. Source
  • Tunisian billionaire who fled Canada ahead of 2016 deportation arrested in France

    World News CBC News
    An elusive Tunisian billionaire who disappeared from Canada as he was set to be deported to his homeland in 2016 has resurfaced and is under arrest in France. Belhassen Trabelsi fell off the radar of Canadian authorities three years ago as he was to be returned to Tunisia to face justice. Source
  • Canadian tennis teen Bianca Andreescu is waking up to a new world

    Canada News CBC News
    When you aren't supposed to win, it's hard to know what to do when it happens. Take 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu and her historic win this past weekend at Indian Wells. She is the first wild card to ever capture the event, the most prestigious tournament ever won by a Canadian singles player. Source
  • Amber Alert issued for missing 5-year-old girl in the Toronto-area

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in the Greater Toronto Area have issued an Amber Alert for a missing five-year-old girl who they believe was abducted by her father. York region police officers were called to Armadale Public School in Markham, Ont. Source
  • Amber Alert cancelled after missing girl, 5, found safe in Toronto area

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in the Greater Toronto Area say a five-year-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert has been found safe. Police say the girl’s father took her from her classroom at Armadale Public School in Markham, Ont. Source
  • Rare protests erupt against Hamas's 12-year rule over Gaza

    World News CBC News
    Hamas is facing the biggest demonstrations yet against its 12-year rule of the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of Palestinians taking to the streets in recent days to protest the dire living conditions in the blockaded territory. Source
  • New $1B border strategy will get tough on irregular asylum seekers

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - The Liberal government is signalling its intent to stem the flow of asylum seekers crossing into Canada at unofficial entry points with a new border-enforcement strategy aimed at detecting, intercepting and removing irregular migrants. Source
  • Liberals offer 'modest' help for first-time homebuyers

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- On the eve of a federal election this fall, the Liberal government is looking to help more Canadians buy their first homes by picking up a portion of their mortgage costs and increasing the amount they can borrow from their retirement savings for a down payment. Source
  • Quick-thinking students save school bus after driver collapses

    Canada News CBC News
    A group of students from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School are being heralded as heroes for safely bringing their school bus to a stop and offering first aid after their driver collapsed from a medical emergency. Source