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.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Vatican, Argentine church to open 'dirty war' archives

    World News CTV News
    VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican and Argentina's bishops have finished cataloguing their archives from the country's "dirty war" and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused church members of complicity with the military dictatorship. Source
  • Shoppers Drug Mart applies to be a distributor of medical marijuana

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO - Shoppers Drug Mart says it has submitted an application to be a distributor of medical marijuana. A spokeswoman says in an email that the drug store chain has applied to Health Canada to become a licensed medical marijuana producer — but only for the purpose of distributing the drug. Source
  • Bottled message sent out to sea is found 5 decades later

    World News Toronto Sun
    HAMPTON, N.H. — A bottled message sent out to sea by a New Hampshire man more than five decades ago has been returned to his daughter. WMUR-TV reports the message was discovered by Clint Buffington of Utah while he was vacationing in the Turks and Caicos. Source
  • Bail granted for Dennis Oland by Court of Appeal

    Canada News CBC News
    Breaking Court of Appeal ordered new trial on second-degree murder charge CBC NewsPosted: Oct 25, 2016 11:32 AM ATLast Updated: Oct 25, 2016 11:32 AM AT Source
  • Dennis Oland released on bail by N.B. Court of Appeal, pending retrial

    Canada News CBC News
    Breaking Court of Appeal ordered new trial on second-degree murder charge CBC NewsPosted: Oct 25, 2016 11:32 AM ATLast Updated: Oct 25, 2016 11:32 AM AT Source
  • Ailing Pakistani girl gets last-minute visa for U.S. surgery

    World News Toronto Sun
    ISLAMABAD — The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad has issued a last minute-visa to an ailing 6-year-old Pakistani girl desperately in need of surgery in the United States. Shahid Ullah, the father of Maria, says that the family is “so happy” at the news and thanked friends and supporters world over who helped them. Source
  • Bigger shrimp being caught after Hurricane Matthew

    World News Toronto Sun
    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Hurricane Matthew flooded roads and homes and tore branches from trees, but there has been one upside to the storm: bigger shrimp. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources biologist Jeff Brunson tells The Post and Courier of Charleston that in some places along the coast, larger shrimp have moved from estuaries to offshore waters where they’re being caught by commercial shrimpers. Source
  • 'Everyone was screaming'; Four killed on river rapids ride at Australian theme park

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — Four people were killed Tuesday after a river rapids ride malfunctioned at a popular theme park on Australia’s east coast, officials said. Two men and two women died while on the ride at Dreamworld, a park on Queensland state’s Gold Coast, Queensland police officer Tod Reid told reporters. Source
  • Otto's first beer run: Self-driving Budweiser truck makes 200 km delivery

    World News CBC News
    Anheuser-Busch says it has completed the world's first commercial shipment by self-driving truck, sending a beer-filled tractor-trailer on a journey of more than 120 miles — almost 200 kilometres — through Colorado. The company says it teamed with self-driving truck maker, Otto, and the state of Colorado for the feat. Source
  • 'I just killed, murdered, this woman here': Hong Kong banker’s trial jury sees chilling video of torture

    World News Toronto Sun
    HONG KONG — A Hong Kong jury watched chilling video Tuesday of a British banker torturing an Indonesian woman and then talking for hours about how he repeatedly raped her and then killed her without feeling guilt or emotion. Source