Tuesday, July 28, 1998

Robert Benzie

p. 8 News.

Doe appeal pushed

Police lawyers to brief council

Toronto Police Services Board lawyers want to appeal the Jane Doe decision and they'll make their arguments to city council's executive committee tomorrow.

The lawyers are briefing councilors after the fact. Councilors' rejected legal advise when they voted 51-1 against appealing a judge's ruling that Doe was used as "bait" by Toronto Police to trap the Balcony Rapist in 1986.

Councilor David Miller warned the unprecedented briefing proves "there's clearly a movement afoot" to reopen the legal issue, which has already cost the city $1.5 million. "We've said enough is enough. Lawyers are being the tail wagging the dog," said Miller, who is a lawyer.

At issue is tomorrow's 8.30 a.m. meeting with the members of the strategic policy and priorities committee, the Police Services Board and the lawyers from the firm Weir and Folds.

The attorneys are recommending an appeal because of concerns council's vote opens up the city to scores of lawsuits.

Board Chairman Norm Gardner said he wants lawyers to warn councillors of the ramifications of their "hasty decision" to vote in the rape victim's favor three weeks ago. Gardner who voted with the majority on July 9, said he'll "reserve judgement" on whether he thinks there should be an appeal until after tomorrow.

"The emotion was very high and there was a vote to ignore legal advise," he said, stressing he doesn't want to do anything to affect Doe's award of $220,364 plus legal costs.


In a further twist to an already complicated situation, Doe's lawyer, Sean Dewart, said an appeal by the city could have far greater consequences for other municipalities. "If anyone takes it up to the Court of Appeal and loses, then the decision... will be binding on every trial level judge in Ontario," Dewart said.

Then, he said, the worst fears of the Police Services Board's lawyers would be realized.

"Balcony Rapist" case... [Fiona Stewart]

Created: February 15, 1999
Last modified: February 15, 1999

J.D. Jane Doe, c/o Walnet Institute
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710