Image Source: Reuters
January 23, 2012
Michael Ryan, the target of his ex-wife's foiled hit man plot, is now sharing his own version of events with the media. While admitting that he has struggled with anger management issues in the past, he categorically denies what Nicole Doucet Ryan's lawyers called a "reign of terror" over her and their daughter. According to Ryan, the two had separated and were living apart amicably until he asked for a divorce. At that point, he claims his Doucet Ryan began making false claims to the police.
Ryan, who has copies of most of the public court documentation in his ex-wife's case and has obtained other documents through access-to-information requests, said Nicole Doucet Ryan told the doctor who performed her post-arrest psychiatric evaluation that her husband never abused her.
"She actually stated in there that she was thinking of having me killed back in September 2007 and the doctor had asked her about the conversation with the hit man, 'Why you wanted him killed before April 1st,' and she stated that she didn't want to look at me at the custody hearing." Source: CBC News
In fact, psychiatric evaluations performed on Doucet Ryan were so unfavourable that sole custody of their daughter was awarded to Ryan; she is reportedly happy living with him and his new wife and son in Ontario.
"This psychologist is the only person that has investigated the whole situation between myself and Nicole," Michael Ryan said. "[She] basically reported that Nicole was exaggerating her concerns about me." Source: CBC News
Nicole Doucet Ryan's lawyers disagree with that assessment, saying that it was based on "incomplete information."
Given what I have been reading in the news today, I have come to the decision that my original post on this topic was based on incomplete information. Shame on me for assuming that the claims against Ryan had been verified before they were used as the sole basis for excusing a conspiracy to commit murder charge.
Here's the original post...
The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the Crown to drop its case against Nicole Doucet Ryan, a high school teacher from Nova Scotia who tried to hire a hit man to kill her husband, Michael Ryan. She had previously testified that her marriage was fraught with abuse, claiming that he had threatened her with a gun on numerous occasions, thrown pieces of furniture at her, and once threatened to "burn the fucking house down" while she and her daughter were inside if she tried to leave him.
Doucet Ryan also told the court that she had contacted the RCMP on nine separate occasions seeking protection from her husband, but was told by police that it was a "civil" matter and that there was nothing they could do. When she began seeking the services of a hit man, and undercover officer was deployed to pose as a contract killer and Doucet Ryan was arrested immediately after agreeing to the transaction.
In their decision, Supreme Court Justices Louis LeBel and Thomas Cromwell noted that:
"...it seems the authorities were much quicker to intervene to protect Mr. Ryan than they had been to respond to her request for help in dealing with his reign of terror over her."
And that, my dear friends, is why these guys wear the Supreme Robes. It does my heart good to see justice ultimately served in this case.
Doucet Ryan's defense was that she had acted under duress in counselling to commit murder. Legally, duress is defined as: unlawful pressure exerted upon a person to coerce that person to perform an act that he or she ordinarily would not perform.
Those familiar with the case against Karla Homolka may recall that a similar claim of duress was offered up in defense of her role in the kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of Ontario teenagers Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. Opponents argued that while duress may be a valid explanation concerning victims who respond violently to their abusers, it was difficult to accept duress as a defense for violence perpetrated against an innocent party.