Judge to rule next month on ap­pli­ca­tion to stay pro­ceed­ings in sex case

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton -

HAL­I­FAX (CP) — A Nova Sco­tia Supreme Court jus­tice will rule next month on an ap­pli­ca­tion to stay pro­ceed­ings against a for­mer Strait area busi­ness­man fac­ing nu­mer­ous sex-re­lated charges af­ter his lawyer ar­gued the mat­ter has taken too long to come be­fore the courts.

The case against Ernest Fen­wick Mac­In­tosh, 66, has been plagued by “ab­hor­rent” de­lays since the first al­le­ga­tions arose in 1995, his lawyer David Bright ar­gued Wed­nes­day.

Mac­In­tosh, a for­mer telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­tant, faces 36 charges dat­ing back to the 1970s in a num­ber of Strait area com­mu­ni­ties.

Bright told the court that Mac­In­tosh left Canada for a job in Sin­ga­pore in 1994, four months be­fore the RCMP be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing him.

He said the lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor, Cpl. Don­ald De­veau, failed to find a phone num­ber for Mac­In­tosh un­til a year later, even though he had his ad­dress at a ho­tel in In­dia a month af­ter the al­le­ga­tions were made.

De­veau tes­ti­fied he left a mes­sage for Mac­In­tosh the first time he called — a mes­sage Mac­In­tosh said he never re­ceived — and was un­able to reach him in In­dia un­til Au­gust 1996, de­spite re­peated calls.

The of­fi­cer said he iden­ti­fied him­self in the ’ 96 call as an RCMP of­fi­cer from Port Hawkes­bury and that a war­rant had been is­sued for Mac­In­tosh’s ar­rest fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­leged sex­ual as­sault.

De­veau said Mac­In­tosh told him he had no in­ten­tion of re­turn­ing to Canada, then the line went dead.

Mac­In­tosh tes­ti­fied he was not told of the war­rant and was left baf­fled by the ref­er­ence to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, later con­clud­ing the of­fi­cer would call back if it was im­por­tant.

In Septem­ber 1997, Mac­In­tosh was told that his pass­port would be re­voked be­cause he was fac­ing charges in Canada, a de­ci­sion later over­turned in court.

Mac­In­tosh re­turned to Canada on a few oc­ca­sions. But De­veau con­firmed he never looked into whether Mac­In­tosh had left In­dia, say­ing only that fed­eral of­fi­cials had told him the pass­port had been “red-flagged.”

Asked if he tried to con­tact the RCMP li­ai­son of­fi­cer at the Cana­dian High Com­mis­sion in New Delhi, De­veau said he never thought of that ei­ther.

Mac­In­tosh tes­ti­fied he lived about three blocks from the com­mis­sion and was a mem­ber of its Canada Club.

More charges were laid in 2001 af­ter other com­plainants came for­ward.

In all, Mac­In­tosh spent 13 years in In­dia be­fore he was ar­rested in April 2007. He was ex­tra­dited to Canada two months later and re­mained in cus­tody un­til April 2008, when he was re­leased on bail.

Bright com­plained about de­lays in get­ting doc­u­ments dis­closed from the Crown, the loss of Hal­i­fax po­lice records and the deaths of sev­eral po­ten­tial wit­nesses over the years.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Diane McGrath pointed out there is no statute of lim­i­ta­tions on crim­i­nal charges in Canada and cited case law that sug­gests the courts have no role in telling the po­lice how to con­duct their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

She said it was hard to un­der­stand why Mac­In­tosh would choose not to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the po­lice once he had learned he was the sub­ject of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. She ar­gued that Mac­In­tosh had fought the ex­tra­di­tion process, which is typ­i­cally a drawn-out, com­pli­cated process at the best of times.

McGrath also noted that the RCMP did lit­tle in the five years be­fore Mac­In­tosh was ar­rested be­cause their in­ves­ti­ga­tions were largely com­plete and fed­eral lawyers were busy try­ing to get Mac­In­tosh to re­turn to Canada.

The charges against Mac­In­tosh in­clude in­de­cent as­sault and gross in­de­cency.

The six male com­plainants have been sep­a­rated into two groups and Mac­In­tosh is fac­ing two sep­a­rate tri­als, the first of which is ex­pected to take place in April.

The iden­ti­ties of the com­plainants are banned from pub­li­ca­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.