Hamilton Police 1989 murder lawsuit questions reliability of witnesses

News Apr 05, 2016 by Ken Peters The Hamilton Spectator

Did Hamilton police rely on unreliable witnesses to charge Christopher McCullough and Nicholas Nossey with the murder of Tapleytown school teacher Beverley Perrin?

That appears to be the basis of a $10-million malicious prosecution lawsuit the pair have launched against the police service and the case investigators.

Plaintiff lawyer Neil Jones raised that spectre again Monday by suggesting to the head of the Perrin murder investigation that testimony from Steven Clarke and Terry Pierce and Pierce's girlfriend Tammy Waltham was the basis for the arrest of McCullough and Nossey.

"The only evidence you had to charge Chris McCullough was the statements of Steven Clarke, Terry Pierce and Tammy Waltham?" Jones put it to retired Staff Sgt. Gary Clue.

"I would have to say yes," Clue answered.

He admitted there was no physical or forensic evidence linking McCullough to the Feb. 13, 1989 rape and strangulation of Perrin, 55, whose frozen body was discovered in a field off Tapleytown Road.

[ Convicted murderer suing police, says he can't get a job ]

Clue admitted the same statements held true for Nossey.

Nossey was acquitted of first-degree murder. McCullough was convicted of second-degree murder but won a new trial after nine years imprisonment. The police would stay his prosecution.

Clarke and Pierce pled guilty to lesser roles and were sentenced to four and nine years in prison respectively.

"Would you agree Steven Clarke is a very accomplished liar," Jones put it to Clue.

"I think he lied for his own purposes," Clue replied.

"You have to be concerned that anything he said could be a lie?" Jones asked.

Clue answered yes.

Jones proceeded to take Clue through several statements Clarke made to investigators which contained omissions or lies.

Clue agreed. But there was something else.

"Every time we talked to him (Clarke) he told a little bit of the truth," he said.

Clue also testified police never believed the Perrin homicide was connected to drugs.

This, notwithstanding, Hamilton police were investigating the import of American marijuana inside car tires being driven across the border.

Perrin's car was found at a Grandville Avenue highrise parking garage minus the two back tires and the spare.

But Clue considered the two investigations "apples and oranges."

"Drug dealers don't kill 55-year-old school teachers," Clue told court referring to Perrin.

Clue did admit progress in the Perrin investigation was slow for the first year.

"No one was coming in to confess with their hands up," Clue said.

Perrin, a mother of five, had taught elementary school for 23 years. At the time of her murder she was teaching grade 1 and 2 classes at Tapleytown Elementary School. The lawsuit, being heard before Ontario Superior Court Justice James Ramsay, continues Tuesday.

kpeters@thespec.com

905-526-3388

Hamilton Police 1989 murder lawsuit questions reliability of witnesses

News Apr 05, 2016 by Ken Peters The Hamilton Spectator

Did Hamilton police rely on unreliable witnesses to charge Christopher McCullough and Nicholas Nossey with the murder of Tapleytown school teacher Beverley Perrin?

That appears to be the basis of a $10-million malicious prosecution lawsuit the pair have launched against the police service and the case investigators.

Plaintiff lawyer Neil Jones raised that spectre again Monday by suggesting to the head of the Perrin murder investigation that testimony from Steven Clarke and Terry Pierce and Pierce's girlfriend Tammy Waltham was the basis for the arrest of McCullough and Nossey.

"The only evidence you had to charge Chris McCullough was the statements of Steven Clarke, Terry Pierce and Tammy Waltham?" Jones put it to retired Staff Sgt. Gary Clue.

"I would have to say yes," Clue answered.

He admitted there was no physical or forensic evidence linking McCullough to the Feb. 13, 1989 rape and strangulation of Perrin, 55, whose frozen body was discovered in a field off Tapleytown Road.

[ Convicted murderer suing police, says he can't get a job ]

Clue admitted the same statements held true for Nossey.

Nossey was acquitted of first-degree murder. McCullough was convicted of second-degree murder but won a new trial after nine years imprisonment. The police would stay his prosecution.

Clarke and Pierce pled guilty to lesser roles and were sentenced to four and nine years in prison respectively.

"Would you agree Steven Clarke is a very accomplished liar," Jones put it to Clue.

"I think he lied for his own purposes," Clue replied.

"You have to be concerned that anything he said could be a lie?" Jones asked.

Clue answered yes.

Jones proceeded to take Clue through several statements Clarke made to investigators which contained omissions or lies.

Clue agreed. But there was something else.

"Every time we talked to him (Clarke) he told a little bit of the truth," he said.

Clue also testified police never believed the Perrin homicide was connected to drugs.

This, notwithstanding, Hamilton police were investigating the import of American marijuana inside car tires being driven across the border.

Perrin's car was found at a Grandville Avenue highrise parking garage minus the two back tires and the spare.

But Clue considered the two investigations "apples and oranges."

"Drug dealers don't kill 55-year-old school teachers," Clue told court referring to Perrin.

Clue did admit progress in the Perrin investigation was slow for the first year.

"No one was coming in to confess with their hands up," Clue said.

Perrin, a mother of five, had taught elementary school for 23 years. At the time of her murder she was teaching grade 1 and 2 classes at Tapleytown Elementary School. The lawsuit, being heard before Ontario Superior Court Justice James Ramsay, continues Tuesday.

kpeters@thespec.com

905-526-3388

Hamilton Police 1989 murder lawsuit questions reliability of witnesses

News Apr 05, 2016 by Ken Peters The Hamilton Spectator

Did Hamilton police rely on unreliable witnesses to charge Christopher McCullough and Nicholas Nossey with the murder of Tapleytown school teacher Beverley Perrin?

That appears to be the basis of a $10-million malicious prosecution lawsuit the pair have launched against the police service and the case investigators.

Plaintiff lawyer Neil Jones raised that spectre again Monday by suggesting to the head of the Perrin murder investigation that testimony from Steven Clarke and Terry Pierce and Pierce's girlfriend Tammy Waltham was the basis for the arrest of McCullough and Nossey.

"The only evidence you had to charge Chris McCullough was the statements of Steven Clarke, Terry Pierce and Tammy Waltham?" Jones put it to retired Staff Sgt. Gary Clue.

"I would have to say yes," Clue answered.

He admitted there was no physical or forensic evidence linking McCullough to the Feb. 13, 1989 rape and strangulation of Perrin, 55, whose frozen body was discovered in a field off Tapleytown Road.

[ Convicted murderer suing police, says he can't get a job ]

Clue admitted the same statements held true for Nossey.

Nossey was acquitted of first-degree murder. McCullough was convicted of second-degree murder but won a new trial after nine years imprisonment. The police would stay his prosecution.

Clarke and Pierce pled guilty to lesser roles and were sentenced to four and nine years in prison respectively.

"Would you agree Steven Clarke is a very accomplished liar," Jones put it to Clue.

"I think he lied for his own purposes," Clue replied.

"You have to be concerned that anything he said could be a lie?" Jones asked.

Clue answered yes.

Jones proceeded to take Clue through several statements Clarke made to investigators which contained omissions or lies.

Clue agreed. But there was something else.

"Every time we talked to him (Clarke) he told a little bit of the truth," he said.

Clue also testified police never believed the Perrin homicide was connected to drugs.

This, notwithstanding, Hamilton police were investigating the import of American marijuana inside car tires being driven across the border.

Perrin's car was found at a Grandville Avenue highrise parking garage minus the two back tires and the spare.

But Clue considered the two investigations "apples and oranges."

"Drug dealers don't kill 55-year-old school teachers," Clue told court referring to Perrin.

Clue did admit progress in the Perrin investigation was slow for the first year.

"No one was coming in to confess with their hands up," Clue said.

Perrin, a mother of five, had taught elementary school for 23 years. At the time of her murder she was teaching grade 1 and 2 classes at Tapleytown Elementary School. The lawsuit, being heard before Ontario Superior Court Justice James Ramsay, continues Tuesday.

kpeters@thespec.com

905-526-3388