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VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

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default Re: VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:39 am

Toronto Sun

May 4, 2010

By JOE WARMINGTON

Publication ban justified in Tori case

"I am staying calm because they know their jobs." -- Rodney Stafford on Ontario's justice system.

The judge has spoken.

So has the premier, the opposition, the curious, the furious, the gossips, the media and even the bloggers.

Many have had their say on the publication ban laid down in court Friday when Terri-Lynne McClintic was scheduled to appear in court.

And now it's the true victim's turn ‹ as in slain Tori Stafford's dad, Rodney.

"I have confidence in the system and I am being patient," the 35-year-old said in an interview Monday.

It's an important point of view since it is he, and all of Tori Stafford's immediate family, who have to live with the pain and horror of what happened to their kidnapped and murdered eight-year-old.

(continues)

http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/joe_warmington/2010/05/03/13811801.html




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default Re: VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:43 am

The Canadian Press

Wed May. 19 2010 9:28:25 PM

Ban in Tori Stafford case extended, judge cites miscarriage of justice concerns

(snippet)

The sweeping ban raised hackles across the country when it was brought in April 30, with front-page newspaper editorials lambasting it as going too far. Experts in media law called the extent of the ban unusual and one that would simply fuel rampant speculation.

Justice Dougald McDermid heard arguments to vary the ban Tuesday and delivered his order and reasons in open court Wednesday.

Immediately afterward counsel told the court it would seek to appeal the order to the Supreme Court of Canada, and as a result McDermid extended the sweeping ban.

As he did on April 30, McDermid issued a hand-written order of what information was publishable, which gave some indication as to why he granted the extension.

"To fail to grant the stay... would render moot the issue of whether the order is correct in law and therefore has the potential to result in miscarriage of justice," he wrote.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100519/100519_stafford/20100519/?hub=CP24Home


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default Re: VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:46 am

The London Free Press

May 21, 2010

By Randy Richmond

City respects Tori ban

It’s ‘astonishing’ how the publication ban has stayed airtight

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2010/05/21/14042376.html

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:49 am

The Canadian Press

Wed Jun 02 2010

by Allison Jones

Michael Rafferty, suspect in Tori Stafford death, goes straight to trial

Michael Rafferty's hearing was scheduled to start June 21, but the Ministry of the Attorney General is now proceeding with a direct indictment.

“Direct indictments can be used in cases where there are compelling circumstances that require, in the interests of justice, that the matter be brought to trial as soon as possible,” ministry spokesman Brendan Crawley said in an email.

While Crawley could not comment specifically on Rafferty's case, he said direct indictments are used when Crown counsel has concluded there is a “reasonable prospect of conviction.”

Preliminary hearings are held to see if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

(...)

No date has yet been set for Rafferty's case to return to court, but Derstine still expects his trial to take place some time in 2011.

(continues)

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/818177--michael-rafferty-suspect-in-tori-stafford-death-goes-straight-to-trial


Last edited by merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:14 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:59 am

Canwest News Service ·

Thursday, Jun. 3, 2010

Stafford suspect to go directly to trial

http://www.nationalpost.com/Stafford+suspect+directly+trial/3105068/story.html#ixzz11355Kgwo

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default Re: VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:02 am

The Canadian Press

Jun 20, 2010

by Allison Jones

Victoria Stafford's dad kicks off fundraising bike journey on Father's Day

http://www.680news.com/news/national/article/68424--victoria-stafford-s-dad-kicks-off-fundraising-bike-journey-on-father-s-day

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default Re: VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:04 am

Toronto— The Canadian Press

Sunday, Aug. 08, 2010

Victoria Stafford’s brother, father to finish fundraising bike ride

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/victoria-staffords-brother-father-to-complete-fundraising-bike-ride/article1665901/

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default Re: VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:54 am

Vancouver Sun

October 15, 2010

By Linda Nguyen, Postmedia News

Accused in high-profile Victoria Stafford case wants a change of venue

Girl, 8, kidnapped and killed last year

The lawyer for one of the accused in the high-profile kidnapping and killing of eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford last year is asking that his client’s trial be moved out of Woodstock, Ont.

A court on Friday scheduled a change of venue motion hearing for February.

Lead defence attorney Dirk Derstine, who was not at the proceedings, said afterwards that his client, Michael Rafferty, will not be able to get a fair trial if it goes ahead as scheduled in the southwestern Ontario city where Stafford went missing.

Rafferty, 29, of Woodstock, faces one count of kidnapping and one count of first-degree murder. His former girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, has also been charged with kidnapping and murder in the Stafford case.

A one-day judicial pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 8, 2010. Rafferty’s trial is not expected to start until 2011.

Stafford, a Grade 3 student, was last seen on April 8, 2009 in Woodstock, about 150 kilometres west of Toronto.

Her remains were found three months later in a deserted field near Mount Forest, Ont., nearly 130 kilometres away from her home.

The search for Stafford involved nearly 100 investigating police officers, and was featured on the U.S. TV show, America’s Most Wanted. Her estranged parents made numerous pleas to the public for the return of their daughter.

Her disappearance also brought to light some shortfalls with the provincial Amber Alert system, used to notify the public when a child goes missing. It wasn’t immediately initiated in her case because police did not feel that she was in “immediate danger.” At the time, police also did not have a description of a vehicle, or knowledge of an abduction.

The criteria for the program have since been changed.

In April 2010, a Superior Court justice issued a publication ban on a scheduled court appearance by one of the co-accused, Terri-Lynne McClintic.

Lawyers for major media corporations, including Postmedia News, argued against the ban. The issue has yet to be heard before the Supreme Court of Canada.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Accused+high+profile+Victoria+Stafford+case+wants+change+venue/3680090/story.html#ixzz130rIeQ1E

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default Re: VICTORIA STAFFORD - Aged 8 years - Woodstock, Ontario (Canada)

Post  Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 7:25 am

CBC.ca

6 December 2010

Court to rule on Stafford publication ban appeal

The Supreme Court of Canada will rule Thursday on whether it'll hear an appeal of a controversial publication ban in the case of a woman charged in the death of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford.

The sweeping ban raised hackles across the country when it was imposed April 30, 2010, with front-page newspaper editorials lambasting it as going too far.

Experts in media law called the extent of the ban unusual and said it would simply fuel rampant speculation.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/12/06/ont-stafford-ban.html

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Post  Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 7:27 am

680 News

9 December 2010

Victim impact statement of Daryn Stafford, Tori's brother

This is the victim impact statement of Daryn Stafford, Tori's 12-year-old brother.

"My name is Daryn Stafford. I am Victoria Stafford's older brother. I am supposed to describe my emotional losses, but it would take all the paper in the world to say how I felt and what I have lost, but the thing I lost the most, not only my sister, but my bestest friend.

Tori was the most important person in the world to me, and the worst part about losing her, which has more reasons then one, is I don't ever get to see her again.

I lost my only sibling. She was the closest person to me. But me and Tori could barely be apart for a weekend let alone a lifetime. Me and my sister were never apart, we were always together no matter what. We always did stuff together, taking turns on making ideas (about) what we should (do) next, and usually we argued, but we always made up.

Just knowing that I never get to see her again makes me sad. I would have given anything and I still would give anything to get my baby sister back. I just love her more than anything. Also my physical injuries are I've lost a lot of sleep. There's nights I lie with my mom crying because I miss Tori. Also I don't like going places by myself or going into store myself cause it scares me.

Also I can't walk up the street where Tori was caught on tape.

But what most people don't know is that only reason I wanted to go to Oliver Stephens (school) is because I feel close to my sister. But the street just makes me uncomfortable."


http://www.680news.com/news/local/article/155344--victim-impact-statement-of-daryn-stafford-tori-s-brother

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Post  Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 7:48 am

Globe and Mail

9 December 2010
Updated 7 February 2011

A killer's plea revealed: Court lifts ban on Tori Stafford murder case

A decision made by the Supreme Court of Canada Thursday allows us to report some details of the April trial and conviction of Terri-Lynne McClintic for the murder of Victoria Stafford. This information was covered by a sweeping publication ban until now.

On a cool April afternoon in 2009, Terri-Lynne McClintic approached the first young girl she saw walking toward her from Oliver Stephens public school in Woodstock, Ont.. Striking up a conversation with an outgoing eight-year-old named Victoria Stafford, Ms. McClintic began chatting about Shih Tzu dogs.

Victoria said she would like to see Ms. McClintic’s dog, as they walked together toward a nearby retirement-home parking lot.

A few hours later, after Ms. McClintic had purchased a hammer and garbage bags at a Home Depot in Guelph, 70 kilometres away, Victoria lay dead under a pile of rocks in a field north of that city. She was the victim of what police call “multiple blunt force impact.”

Those are some of the details of the murder of Victoria “Tori” Stafford that were revealed on April 30, when Ms. McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in a Woodstock courtroom and was given the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Kidnapping charges against her were dropped.

Until now, the information presented at the hearing – along with Ms. McClintic’s plea and sentencing – was subject to a sweeping publication ban that prevented anyone from reporting it. Some of that detail is now public after the Supreme Court of Canada rejected an attempt by the lawyer of Ms. McClintic’s co-accused, Michael Rafferty, to keep everything under wraps.

Mr. Rafferty’s lawyer, Dirk Derstine, was concerned that publication of any material related to Ms. McClintic’s case would prevent his client from getting a fair trial.

Under a ruling from Mr. Justice Dougald McDermid – issued in May but only now in effect – many details that emerged at Ms. McClintic’s day in court will still not be made public until Mr. Rafferty’s trial ends.

Mr. Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and murder. His lawyers are trying to have his trial moved away from Woodstock.

Judge McDermid said some of the information contained in a statement of facts read out at Ms. McClintic’s hearing is “sensational, inflammatory, and evokes a visceral response,” and could hurt Mr. Rafferty’s chances of a fair trial. But revealing other portions “does not present a real and substantial risk to the fairness of Mr. Rafferty’s trial,” the judge said.

Judge McDermid also said it was important for the public to know that Ms. McClintic made no plea bargain with the Crown, and that she got the mandatory penalty of a life sentence. “She could not and did not receive a reduced sentence in return for her plea,” he said.

On April 30, in the high-ceilinged courtroom on the top floor of Woodstock’s grandly Romanesque courthouse, Terri-Lynne McClintic sat quietly in a glassed-in prisoner’s box, wearing a black suit and white blouse, her hair tied back in a bun.

The observers in the packed court room – Tori’s parents, Rodney Stafford and Tara McDonald, other family and friends along with Woodstock residents and members of the press – were subdued. At the start the judge had warned the court that if there were any outbursts from the public, the perpetrator would be banned from the proceedings.

Ms. McClintic occasionally cried, and at one point a recess was called when she appeared to be sick to her stomach.

After pleading guilty and under questioning from the judge, Ms. McClintic said she had been made no promises in return for the plea, and that she had not been threatened or coerced.

Crown prosecutor Geoff Beasley then read an agreed statement of facts, only portions of which can be reported.

According to that statement, April 8, 2009, began as a unremarkable day for Ms. McClintic, as she collected food vouchers from a Woodstock church, bought groceries and signed in at a community employment centre.

The kidnapping of Tori took place after the afternoon dismissal from her school, on the first day she was to walk home alone to her mother’s house. Ms. McClintic introduced herself to Tori as “T” and after their chat about dogs they walked off together.

They went to an address in Guelph, the released portion of the statement of facts says, then went north of Guelph. Ms. McClintic bought a hammer and garbage bags while in Guelph.

“In a remote location on a side road in the 6th Concession North of Arthur Township, Victoria Elizabeth Stafford was murdered and her body was concealed,” the statement says.

Following the murder, the police received tips that Ms. McClintic might be the unidentified person in a surveillance video that showed Tori being led away from her school.

On April 12, Ms. McClintic was arrested using an outstanding warrant on another matter, but she was also questioned about Tori’s abduction. After denying her involvement for several weeks, on May 19 she admitted she was the woman in the video and was charged with abduction and accessory to murder. The charge was upgraded the next day to first-degree murder.

Ms. McClintic helped the police search for Tori’s body by car and helicopter, but the process took weeks. She described the scene of the murder, including “a broken-down fence, visible silos, an inclined laneway and creek and a rock pile close to pine or spruce trees where the body had been hidden,” the statement of facts says.

Tori’s body was finally recovered on July 19, when an OPP officer recognized Ms. McClintic’s description of the area. “After getting out of his car, the officer immediately noted the odour of decomposition and approached a group of trees beside the rock pile,” the statement said. “He was able to see a portion of a green garbage bag beneath some rocks under a pine tree. He had found Tori Stafford.”

The body was identified using dental records and some pieces of clothing found with the body. Police also found a pair of butterfly earrings that Tori had retrieved from her classroom just before leaving for home on April 8.

After the statement of facts was read in court, but before Ms. McClintic’s sentencing, there were several victim-impact statements, some in person and some by video.

To a still courtroom, where the silence was broken only by occasional sobs and sniffling from those in attendance, family members revealed their heart-wrenching agony at Tori’s loss.

Her father talked of his daughter’s innocence, the milestones in her life that will never be achieved, and how his family has been destroyed. Addressing Ms. McClintic directly, he said that he had felt hate toward her, but he had to “say thank you for stepping up and accepting responsibility for your actions” and helping to find Tori’s remains.

Mr. Stafford also read a statement on behalf of his 11-year old son Daryn, who wrote that “it would take all the paper in the world to say how I felt and what I have lost . ... I would have given anything and still would give anything to get my baby sister back.” .

Tori’s mother told the court that she cries uncontrollably all the time, and that the emptiness she feels is overwhelming. “I miss her so much that many times, if I didn’t have my son, I probably would have taken my own life.”

Tori’s grandmother, Doreen Graichen said by video that the family has “all become imprisoned for life. Our sentence will never end.”

She said her life has narrowed, as people avoid talking to her because they don’t know what to say. “My heart aches and sometimes I can’t breathe,” she said.

After the victim statements, the judge asked Ms. McClintic if she had anything to say.

In a rambling statement, she talked of wanting justice for Tori, and how she had to take responsibility for her actions.

She acknowledged that she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the killing and said that “there are things that I’ve experienced in the past that may have affected my reactions to the situation was in.”

But that was no excuse, she added. “A million words will never be able to express how truly sorry I am.”

Ms. McClintic said she was “honoured to have spent even a brief amount of time with Tori, “and it pains me to think about how many people won’t get to see what a beautiful and brilliant woman I just know she would have grown up to be.” She said she would give anything to trade places with “that amazing little girl, but I can’t, and man, that hurts.”

She said enough people have been hurt and she did not want to drag them trough a trial. “Spending the next few decades of life in prison is nothing compared to what Tori was robbed of.”

After she spoke, Judge McDermid asked Ms. McClintic if she was firm in her decision to plead guilty. When she said she was, he noted the intense pain that has been inflicted on Tori’s family. “No sentence can take that pain away, or bring Tori back.”

Then the judged looked at her and said: “Terri-Lynne McClintic, I sentence you to imprisonment for life.”


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/court-lifts-sweeping-ban-on-victoria-stafford-murder-trial/article1831151/


Last edited by Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 8:01 am

CTV News

4 March 2011

Rafferty to face a jury in London, Ont.

A Superior Court Judge has ruled that Michael Rafferty's trial will take place in London. Rafferty is charged with the abduction and first-degree murder of Victoria Stafford.

In a decision released Friday Justice Thomas Heeney writes, "The jury will be instructed that the fact that the accused has been charged with these crimes is not evidence of guilt. They will also be instructed that the accused is presumed to be innocent of these charges."

Heeney goes on to say he believes Rafferty will receive a fair trial because jurors will stay true to their oath to objectively consider the facts of the trial.

The crown attorneys in the case previously consented to moving the trial from Woodstock.

Rafferty's first appearance in a London court is set for April 6, 2011.


http://swo.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110304/raffety-trial-london-110304/20110304/?hub=SWOHome

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Post  Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 8:06 am

Sentencing:
Terri-Lynn McClintic has pleaded guilty to the abduction and murder of Victoria Stafford. She sentenced to life in prison.


Micheal Rafferty also accused of killing Tori Stafford will be in court on April 6, 2011.

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Post  Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 8:10 am

CBC

6 April 2011

Rafferty faces 2012 trial in Stafford death

The trial for the man accused of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford will begin early in 2012.

Pretrial motions have been set for Jan. 16 in London, Ont.

Dirk Derstine, the lawyer representing Michael Rafferty, said jury selection will begin immediately following the pretrial motions.

Rafferty is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of the Woodstock, Ont., girl.

His trial was moved from Woodstock to London due to concerns that he would not get a fair trial in the town of 30,000.

Rafferty was not in court for Wednesday's proceedings.

The girl who was called Tori by family and friends was abducted as she left her school on April 8, 2009.

Terri-Lynne McClintic and Rafferty, 30, were charged more than one month later and Tori's remains were found in a field more than 100 kilometres north of Woodstock.

Last April, McClintic, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Stafford's death.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/04/06/rafferty-stafford-killing.html

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Post  Twiglet on Sat May 07, 2011 8:12 am

Toronto Sun

6 April 2011

Trial date set for Tori Stafford murder

The first-degree murder trial of Michael Rafferty will begin Jan. 16, 2012, in London.

Accused of killing eight-year-old Tori Stafford in Woodstock in 2009, Rafferty will remain in custody and likely not appear in court, even by video, until that date, court heard Wednesday.

The start of the trial was confirmed Wednesday by Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney.

Pre-trial motions and jury selection will likely take up the first few weeks of the trial, Heeney noted.

After the hearing, Laura Giordano, one of Rafferty's lawyers, acknowledged the long wait can be tough on everyone.

"All I can really ask is that everybody remain patient and keep an open mind," she said.

"We are very hopeful that Mr. Rafferty will receive a fair trial in London."

Tori Stafford disappeared while walking home from school April 8, 2009, prompting vigils and searches across North America and setting off an explosion of mainstream and social media coverage.

Her body was found in June.

Co-accused Terri-Lynne McClintic, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in April 2010.


http://www.torontosun.com/news/2011/04/06/17896071.html

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