By Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press on January 12, 2018.
TORONTO – A Toronto man has been found guilty of assaulting a homeless man he took in, stealing the man’s disability cheques, and taking his baby so he and his wife could raise the child as their own.
But Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon found Gary Willett did not keep Tim Goldrick captive or deprive him of care that was owed him.
Willett had pleaded not guilty to all charges in a series of events that began more than 20 years ago.
His wife, Maria Willett, also pleaded not guilty to similar charges but will be tried separately.
The case revolved around the relationship between the Willetts and Goldrick and his then-partner Barbara Bennett, who the Willetts took under their wing in the 1980s.
The Crown alleged the Willetts became abusive towards the pair, keeping them captive, taking their disability cheques and their first-born son, who grew up thinking the Willetts were his biological parents.
Court heard Bennett eventually left the home, but Goldrick remained until 2012, when his now-grown son and two others took him from the family home.
Defence lawyer Sam Goldstein, meanwhile, alleged the Willetts’ children, including Goldrick and Bennett’s biological child, are in collusion and have influenced the couple.
He has said Bennett agreed to let the Willetts take her baby and later changed her story because it was easier than admitting she had given up her child.
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