Friday, April 27, 2012

Access Denied to Parent Allegedly Connected to Criminal Associates

An interesting case of guilt by association. I wonder what precedent it might set for other cases where children might be put into high-risk situations due to parent's possible involvement in risky lifestyles. I wonder if this ruling would stand if it was appealed?

B.C. judge cuts off Langley dad’s access to son, saying ‘violent world’ puts boy ‘in danger'

Keith Fraser, The Province, April 27, 2012

A Langley man with alleged connections to the Bacon brothers and the Hells Angels has been denied access to his young son due to his criminal associations.

After Jonathan Bacon was shot to death last August in Kelowna and Hells Angel Larry Amero seriously wounded, Caitlin Dorothy Sutton, the partner of Brendan Ward Paterson, cut off his access to the boy.

In affidavits filed in court, Sutton characterized the relationship as very stormy and violent, and said she feared that the boy would be in danger while in the presence of his father.

In denying access for Paterson, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jenkins noted that, while many of the allegations are not corroborated, there was corroboration from Paterson’s father, Mark Paterson.

In his affidavit, Mark Paterson stated there was an assault in which his son allegedly attacked Sutton’s boyfriend in the presence of the boy.

He said that Brendan Paterson — who claimed that, while he knew Bacon and Amero, he was not a close friend of either of them — was “very well acquainted” with Amero, worked out at the gym with him, went to Amero’s parents’ home for dinner and allowed his son to play with Amero’s son.

The dad said that, when he learned that Bacon had been killed and Amero shot, he phoned his son to say he was sorry that Amero had been shot and to express his concern that Brendan might be next.

“Brendan said to me, ‘How can you f--king talk to me like that when my buddy has just been killed.’ That was the first time I was aware that Jonathan Bacon was a buddy of Brendan’s.”

Mark Paterson said that, following the Kelowna shooting, he’d had numerous conversations with Sutton wherein the two of them expressed concern about the safety of Brendan Paterson and his son.

“Caitlin has disclosed text messages from Brendan since [the boy’s birth] which were demanding, insinuating and threatening,” he said.

The judge found that Mark Paterson’s evidence was proof that his son associated with known criminal who themselves have been targeted by gang members, that Paterson had admitted to having used extreme violence and threats and had exposed the boy to violence and criminal elements.

“As Mark Paterson and Ms. Sutton have deposed, [the boy] would clearly be in danger were he to be out in public with his father, due to his father’s criminal connections and the violent world in which he has become a participant,” the judge ruled.

“It is clearly not in Damian’s interests that he spend time in his father’s presence.”
Sutton said that, soon after she started dating Brendan Paterson in 2007, she met Amero through Paterson and realized that Amero was a member of the Hells Angels.

She said she was aware that there were several criminal charges outstanding against Paterson, many of them relating to possession of ­loaded firearms.

After moving in with him, she became aware he was dealing in crystal meth and had burned his hands and arms while manufacturing the drug.

An affidavit describes an incident in 2008 when a man entered their townhouse with a shotgun, held it to her head and demanded Paterson show him the drugs and money.
The intruder left and Paterson took a firearm and followed the invader down the street in his vehicle.

“She also stated that she had been assaulted by Mr. Paterson on several occasions, even when she was pregnant with [the boy],” said the court ruling.

Paterson denied Sutton’s allegations and said he is not a gang member and has no criminal record. He said the boy was in no danger.

Rebecca Darnell, Sutton’s lawyer, said the case shows that young women who find themselves in “dead-end” relationships can get help and protection from the courts.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Living Together as a Couple: The Financial Part of Relationships

As a professional, I can't emphasize enough knowing what assets and debt people are bringing to the table before you move in together. Discussing the money issue in your relationship when you start getting more serious is a must, because it WILL rear its head eventually and sometimes it will be in a crisis situation, which will add more stress to  strained relationships. You may also want to discuss issues such as will either set of parents, or other relatives, come to live with you as a couple? These things inevitably arise, its better to learn what each of you think before moving in, or marrying.

One of my most favourite shows is "'Til Debt Do Us Part" (it's on Slice) with Gail Vaz-Oxblade. She is as no-nonsense as it gets helping couples and families get out of debt and self-created financial crisis. Gail's website and blog also have tons of financial tips and tools for people who want to boost their financial savvy and be proactive to avoid problems.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada discusses the financial issues related to living as a couple, whether you are planning to get married or moving in together. The tips and tools will help you plan and manage your finances as a couple.

Planning your finances as a couple
Managing your finances as a couple Couples’ finances and the law