TORONTO — For decades, a Toronto man took advantage of a man with limited intelligence, treating him like a servant, taking his disability cheques and eventually stealing his baby in order to raise the child as his own, an Ontario judge has found.
Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon found Gary Willett guilty Friday of assault, theft and abduction of a child in a saga that began in the late 1980s.
But he cleared Willett on charges of forcible confinement and failure to provide the necessaries of life, saying he was not convinced the man had kept Tim Goldrick captive or deprived him of care after taking him in.
Willett and his wife, Maria Willett, “simply took advantage of a man with limited intelligence and limited life skills,” McMahon told a Toronto court. “They took what they wanted.”
Though Gary Willett claimed he was simply trying to help Goldrick and his then-partner Barbara Bennett, he kept the couple around because “there was a definite financial incentive to do so,” the judge said, noting Goldrick’s disability payments brought in roughly $700 a month for more than two decades.
McMahon said he didn’t believe Willett’s testimony that Goldrick and Bennett gave their baby away because they felt parenthood would cramp their style, saying the Willetts would have gone through the proper adoption channels if that had been the case, as they did in adopting other children.
What’s more, he said, Willett maintained he was the child’s biological father when first confronted by police about the allegations.
“There would be no reason to hide a legitimate adoption that was fully consensual,” he said.
Goldrick said outside court he was not happy with the verdict but did not elaborate. His now-adult son, Gary Willett Jr., also expressed dissatisfaction and said he hoped to see the elder Gary Willett behind bars.
Gary Willett’s defence lawyer said his client was disappointed with some of the findings.
Goldrick and Bennett were homeless when they first met the Willetts, who then helped them find a home in their building, court heard. They did so again when they moved on multiple occasions, and eventually took the couple into their own home, court heard.
When Bennett went into labour in 1989, she went to the hospital with the Willetts, leaving Goldrick behind, court heard. She used Maria Willett’s health card and the Willetts presented themselves as the child’s biological parents, signing documents to that effect, court heard.
Bennett told the court that …
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel