Po­lice, courts did their job

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: How did this sex as­sault case end up in court? (Feb. 21)

Mar­garet Shkimba’s ar­ti­cle asks how did the sex as­sault case of Wal­ter Cooke end up in court? She con­cluded that his case is “an­other ex­am­ple of the fail­ure of our sys­tem to ef­fec­tively in­ves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute sex­ual as­sault cases”. In sup­port of her opin­ion she jumped to the conclusion that the po­lice failed to prop­erly ques­tion the wit­nesses as it came out at trial that Mr. Cooke was not even at the cen­tre on the day of the al­leged as­sault.

Her conclusion that the po­lice failed to prop­erly ques­tion the wit­nesses is sim­ply not borne out by the ev­i­dence.

While I didn’t watch the trial, I did fol­low the re­port­ing in the Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. The Feb. 9 ar­ti­cle of the Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor re­ported that Mr. Cooke’s wife did not tell po­lice that Mr. Cooke was not at work on the day of the al­leged as­sault un­til Mr. Cooke’s trial started two weeks ear­lier. Also, un­like other em­ploy­ees of the cen­tre, Mr. Cooke failed to record his at­ten­dance at the cen­tre so there was no writ­ten record of whether or not he was there that day.

So, how did this sex­ual as­sault case wind up in court? The ev­i­dence needed to be tested. Anne-Louise Cole, Hamil­ton

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