Appearing in courtroom 103 today for bail is 20-year-old John Julian Henderson. Crown Attorney is Adriana Nigro, and Aranka Golphy duty counsel is representing Henderson.
On March 23rd, 2018, Thunder Bay Police Service was in pursuit of a vehicle that was operating erratically throughout a south-side neighbourhood. The pursuit ended when the vehicle crashed into a telephone pole and the occupants escaped police efforts to detain them. Later on, a man matching the description of one of the occupants of the vehicle was observed by a Thunder Bay Police officer walking towards to scene of the accident.
Upon questioning of the suspect, the identity of this man was determined to be John Julian Henderson, a resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Police conducted a CPIC check on Henderson and it was determined he was violating his previous bail and probation conditions of “Keep the peace and be of good behaviour” as well as “Must reside at his residence in Winnipeg” with a nightly curfew.
The crown explains that this is a reverse onus situation, which means that Henderson needs to satisfy the court as to why he should be released. Nigro explains that Henderson has violated his conditions by leaving Winnipeg and being out past curfew, which is a breach of a court order. Furthermore, Nigro outlines her secondary grounds, stating that “This form of behaviour presents public safety concerns” pointing out that “Mr Henderson has a lengthy criminal record”.
Upon examination of Henderson’s criminal record, Nigro stresses that Henderson has no gaps in his criminal record from 2010 up to 2017. Previous charges include assaults, firearms charges, drugs, property-related offences, theft and mischief along with many others.
Duty counsel is representing Henderson and explains that she is seeking Henderson’s release. Golphy explains that although he is charged with breaching his bail condition of “Keep the peace and be of good behaviour” due to the alleged vehicle incident, that police have yet to charge him with anything regarding that incident. Golphy questions how he could be charged with violating his “keep the peace and be of good behaviour” if there is no charge for him breaking the law, other than his failure to comply charge.
Golphy mentions how Henderson does not know which conditions he violated, or how, further explaining that Henderson and his girlfriend were in Thunder Bay on a trip. Golphy clarifies that Henderson did not violate his condition to “reside at home”, as he still does live with his mother in Winnipeg. She goes on to further to challenge the definition of “reside” as residing somewhere allows you to temporarily leave your residence, for extended periods, but still have your mail and property at the address.
Gladue factors impacting Henderson are as follows, according to Golphy:
- Henderson is a First Nation Status member
- Henderson comes from a reserve 1 hour north of Winnipeg
- His father is a residential school survivor, who was abused in the system
- His older brothers both have extensive criminal records with a history of incarceration
Golphy calls a witness to the stand, Henderson’s girlfriend.
Rosalia Cheba stands up from the benches, approaches the witness stand, and is sworn in. During Golphy’s questioning of Cheba, she reveals she has been dating Henderson since October of 2017, and that she is a student finishing her high school diploma. She explains that they arrived in Thunder Bay by Greyhound bus, and that they were on a road trip to come see the scenery of Thunder Bay, and that she had asked Henderson to come with her as she had not been to Thunder Bay before. She urges that Henderson and herself need to return to Winnipeg for a family dinner this Easter weekend.
“I only have $600 and it’s for us to get home” Cheba stresses.
Golphy questions her about whether they had return bus tickets, Cheba states that they did not purchase return tickets, as they were not certain when they wanted to return. The defence has no further questions.
The crown begins her cross-examination pressing Cheba about if she was aware of Henderson’s charges, in which Cheba responds by saying that she knew he had charges, but didn’t know what they were for, or that he was not allowed to leave Winnipeg. The crown asks if Cheba knew Henderson was on a recognizance when they started dating, to which Cheba claims she didn’t know.
The crown presses Cheba further and more intensely, demanding to know how she could not have known. Cheba responds by saying “he told me but didn’t go into detail”. The crown presses harder, questioning of how Cheba would not be curious to know more, considering she started dating this man in October. Cheba insists she wasn’t interested in the details. The crown notes that Henderson’s recognizance began in November, which was a month after the two were alleged to have begun dating.
The crown asks if Cheba realized that Henderson leaving Winnipeg would have been problematic considering he was on a recognizance. Cheba claims she had no knowledge of how it would be problematic and stresses that she was not informed of his conditions. Cheba adds she wishes they had just stayed home.
The crown admits that charges had not been laid as a result of the vehicle incident, but that she was unaware of whether the police were going to lay more charges. She also notes that Henderson has been withholding information regarding his recognizance and the conditions that go along with it. The crown does agree with defence’s position about the definition of the term “reside”, but also points out that condition #11 for Henderson, is that he must be in his residence between certain hours, as per the court-ordered curfew.
The crown states that her primary and secondary grounds are still concerns which have not been addressed sufficiently by Golphy. Primary grounds are the concern of whether Henderson is going to return for the court to deal with these matters, and secondary grounds are regarding the public’s safety if he were to be released.
The Justice is ready to deliver her decision regarding Henderson’s bail and asks Henderson to stand up in the prisoner’s box. She tells Henderson how she has heard the evidence from the crown and Golphy, regarding his lengthy criminal record and previous breaches, and that his criminal record is very important in this proceeding. She explains that the vehicle did crash after driving dangerously, which is very concerning behaviour when public safety is taken into account, and although he hasn’t been charged for that, he is presumed innocent as of right now for his breaches.
The Justice explains that although he still resides in Winnipeg, that he had still violated his curfew set out very clearly in his recognizance. She explains to him that his current charges are very serious and that his conditions set out are to not leave Winnipeg.
“You have charges, and quite a few of them, and they are very serious charges,” said the Justice of the Peace.
After considering all the evidence laid out for the Justice of the Peace, including his Gladue factors, the decision is handed out. Henderson will be released once $500 cash deposit is made and his conditions will be:
- Reside in Winnipeg
- Report to the Winnipeg Police Service within 24 hours of being released
- Report once a week, every Wednesday to the nearest police detachment
Henderson is sent back into the courthouse jail cell to await transport to the Thunder Bay District Jail, or to be released, pending his girlfriend paying his $500 bail.
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.