Cal­gary jury finds Bernard guilty of rape

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - MEGHAN POTKINS mpotkins@post­media.com

A jury has found Wayne Howard Bernard guilty of the bru­tal rape of a Cal­gary grand­mother 22 years ago.

Bernard, who was liv­ing in Kingston at the time of his ar­rest, was on trial for sex­ual as­sault with a weapon, kid­nap­ping and rob­bery in con­nec­tion with the at­tack on March 28, 1995.

The vic­tim, Mau­reen, whose real name is pro­tected by a pub­li­ca­tion ban, died in 2007 — a month be­fore DNA ev­i­dence fi­nally led to a break­through in her case.

Her daugh­ters wept in court Wed­nes­day as a jury handed down the guilty ver­dict.

“Our mom came home to us that day [but] she was never the same af­ter that aw­ful morn­ing. She was not killed, but her sparkle was gone and her spirit was for­ever ex­tin­guished,” one of her daugh­ters read from a pre­pared state­ment.

“We are re­lieved to fi­nally have jus­tice for our mom and fi­nally have an­swers that we were seek­ing. She can fi­nally rest in peace and we can fi­nally rest easy know­ing that jus­tice has pre­vailed.”

Bernard kid­napped Mau­reen from her Ma­cleod Trail work­place early the morn­ing of March 28. He took the 51-year-old in her own van to a re­mote gravel pit on the out­skirts of the city where he sex­u­ally as­saulted her.

Bernard drove off in the van, leav­ing Mau­reen at the side of a road. She was res­cued af­ter flag­ging down passersby.

It would take 20 years be­fore foren­sic ev­i­dence led in­ves­ti­ga­tors to ar­rest Bernard in Kingston.

Pros­e­cu­tor Pam McCluskey praised cold case de­tec­tives and re­tired Cal­gary po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors for their dili­gence in pur­su­ing the case.

“A cold case is al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult. In this case, it was very much com­pli­cated by the pass­ing of the com­plainant, who died in 2007 hav­ing never known that the po­lice were still keep­ing her file alive,” McCluskey said.

“The peo­ple of the city of Cal­gary should feel pride that we have this kind of po­lice force who will send the mes­sage that no mat­ter how old the of­fence, it will not be for­got­ten.”

Kingston Po­lice made the ar­rest on Satur­day, April 18, 2015, af­ter an armed stand­off on Bri­ar­wood Drive that started at 4 p.m. and lasted just un­der an hour.

Bernard was wanted on a Canada-wide ar­rest war­rant is­sued by Cal­gary Po­lice Ser­vice af­ter the vi­o­lent sex­ual as­sault in Al­berta.

Kingston Po­lice tracked down Bernard to his home in the sub­ur­ban west end. De­tec­tives at­tempted to ar­rest the sus­pect be­fore he told of­fi­cers he had a weapon and fled into the house. The hour-long armed stand­off en­sued.

A fe­male res­i­dent was in the home at the time but was evac­u­ated by po­lice. Of­fi­cers also cor­doned off the res­i­dence and sur­round­ing area be­cause of the threat of a weapon to pub­lic safety.

The emer­gency re­sponse unit and cri­sis ne­go­tia­tor were called in, but be­fore their ar­rival, Det. Sgt. Brad Brooker was able to make contact with the sus­pect and de-es­ca­late the sit­u­a­tion.

Court of Queen’s Bench Jus­tice Bruce Mil­lar will hand down his sen­tence at a later date.

POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

The five daugh­ters of a sex­ual as­sault vic­tim em­brace at the Cal­gary Court Cen­tre on Wed­nes­day af­ter Wayne Howard Bernard was found guilty of the bru­tal rape of the Cal­gary woman 22 years ago.

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