Cornwall ex-policeman’s contempt appeal fails

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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | 5:47 PM ET

The Canadian Press

Ontario’s highest court has dismissed a former Cornwall, Ont., police officer’s appeals of his contempt convictions.

Perry Dunlop called the seven months he served in jail for refusing to testify at a public inquiry largely of his own making “cruel and unusual punishment.”

He was found guilty of civil contempt in November 2007 and sentenced to six months behind bars after refusing to answer questions at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, which was looking into the way authorities responded to widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the Eastern Ontario community. He had been summoned to the inquiry from his home in B.C.

Dunlop, who blew the whistle on the apparent coverup of a sexual abuse case that eventually led to the inquiry, was found guilty of criminal contempt in March 2008 and sentenced to a further 30 days in jail.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario, in dismissing Dunlop’s criminal and civil appeals, said Dunlop was given numerous opportunities to make submissions at the inquiry and purge his contempt.Dunlop had also claimed that he was unlawfully arrested and denied his right to fundamental justice, which the court called “spurious.”

Dunlop was told back in 1993 that the local Catholic diocese had paid a former altar boy $32,000 to drop his sexual abuse complaint against two priests. He passed the complaint on to the Children’s Aid Society against orders from his superiors, leading to an OPP investigation and eventually the public inquiry.

Dunlop said he believed the inquiry was not about finding the truth and his refusal to testify was because he had lost faith in a justice system that treated him as a bad guy.

    Story comments (5)

    twilight2 wrote:Posted 2010/04/28
    at 6:43 PM ETWhat I am wondering…did child family services look into the matter, and if so what was their findings?

    Why was this former OPP criminally investigated after he turned over this case the family services, and why did his superiors NOT want him to?

    No matter what it seems like the RC’s got away with paying off their ” sins of the fathers again!” Disgusting!

    bud_mac_1 wrote:Posted 2010/04/28
    at 6:39 PM ETSo much for freedom of choice to tell the truth or testify. Seems that if one does tell the justice seems what it wants to hear….one will find oneself in BIG trouble. What would happen when a person is on the stand, and when asked to tell the truth they replied “No”? How could an individual be found guilt of contempt when answering a direct question? For the court to compel a witness would be a blatant threat, leading to a contempt charge. Is this justice?

    I would be very interest in hearing from REAL legal individuals to list legal actions along with any Charter provisions that force an individual to bow to a courts decision that nulifies an individual right to not testiy.

    Alberta Fox wrote:Posted 2010/04/28
    at 6:15 PM ETThis police officer should have been supported instead of put in jail. It is a real travesty that he wasn’t.
    Allex Jones wrote:Posted 2010/04/28
    at 6:15 PM ETLast line of story……
    Dunlop said he believed the inquiry was not about finding the truth and his refusal to testify was because he had lost faith in a justice system that treated him as a bad guy.
    This sure smells like a whistle blower that became a victim of power and money.
    Chickenboy wrote:Posted 2010/04/28
    at 5:44 PM ETFrom hero to zero…..

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4Comments have been posted

3 Responses to Cornwall ex-policeman’s contempt appeal fails

  1. In Sun City West,Az,USA. we have [redacted]David Ostler from Cornwall, [redacted] please take him back to canada.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Pauline Symith, I realize you are frustrated but I can not allow those comments on the site

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