Monday, June 28, 2010


Canadian law protects criminals. Who protects their victims? In the name of justice, I copy the following article that is self explanatory, in the fervent hope that readers around the world will take notice of how the Canadian injustice system fails crime victims and their families.
If your heart aches because of this, please check out FAMILIES AGAINST CRIME AND TRAUMA at, and see how you might help to bring justice to Canadian crime victims.
Ordinary people have the power to change our sick political - police - court system that gives joy to criminals and breaks the hearts of victims and their families. You have the power. But do you care?
Silence implies consent. If you do nothing, you are part of the problem.
Phyllis Carter

'Justice Has Failed My Child'


Quinn acquitted of murder in the death of Matthew Martins

Tom Zytaruk, Surrey Now

Published: Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Surrey mother who was accused of urging her boyfriend to kill a teenaged boy at the Surrey Central SkyTrain station has been acquitted of second-degree murder.

Gasps of elation from the accused's side, and horror from the victim's, filled the packed courtroom in New Westminister as B.C. Supreme Court Justice Wendy Baker delivered her verdict Monday after reading her 59-page reasons for judgment.


The accused, 27-year-old Katherine Quinn, gasped, put her hand to her mouth and burst out in tears. She then hugged her friends and family while Sandra Martins-Toner, the mother of the victim, appeared emotionally demolished on the other side of the room.


The judge was met with scoffs and "yeah right" when she said she hopes the victim's family will see "justice had prevailed."


Asked if his client will make a statement, Quinn's defence lawyer Jim Millar replied "I hope not." Outside court, a small sea of reporters swamped Martins-Toner.


"I feel as though we failed our son," she sobbed. "Justice has failed my child and it will fail many more children."

The Crown's case centred on the testimony of witnesses, some of whom cannot be identified because of a publication ban, who'd testified they'd heard Katherine Quinn, 27, tell her boyfriend Robert Forslund, "If you love me, you'll kill him," among other recollections.


Baker took two hours to explain her decision, which essentially boiled down to her finding a reasonable doubt as to Quinn's guilt because she could not rely on the accuracy and reliability of the witnesses' recollections because of inconsistencies in their testimony.

"I must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt," Baker said.


This is Quinn's second trial on the matter. She had been convicted of second-degree murder in the stomping death of 16-year-old

Matthew Martins but the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned that in 2007, after finding no evidence to support the Crown's allegation Quinn had supplied Forslund with the beer bottle he used to slash Martins' throat. Forslund was convicted of second-degree murder in the case in 2007 and is serving a life sentence.


The murder happened on July 2, 2005. Martins, a smallish teen nicknamed "little man" by his friends, had been walking by the couple's Whalley house when Quinn -- a mother of three -- decided she'd mug the boy for his gold chain. Martins cut her under her arm with a small knife, leaving a two-millimetre-deep slice, to escape. Seeking revenge, Forslund, described as a large man, hunted the boy down and punched, kicked and stomped the teen before cutting his throat with a Budweiser beer bottle.


Baker noted that only one bystander -- a young woman -- attempted to stop the savage beating. She said it's a "sad commentary" so many people failed to save the young man. If anyone had the power to do so, she said, it was Quinn, but there was no evidence she did anything to stop it. Indeed, Quinn had started the sequence of events that led to Martins' death. The judge called Quinn's behaviour in the matter "reprehensible."


Outside the courthouse, Sandra Martins-Toner, being comforted by her husband David, lashed out at the witnesses who didn't try to stop Forslund. "Your apathy is unbelievable, to see a child killed like that," she said.


Her younger son Braydan, 13, tried to put on a brave face for reporters. "I miss my brothers a lot," he told them.


Martins-Toner has been through the wringer. Her father died during the first trial, and her mother during the second. After her son was murdered, she formed a victims' advocacy group called F.A.C.T., or Families Against Crime and Trauma, and wrote a book about the case entitled The Last Six Minutes.


A second book is in the works, she said. She called the process "therapeutic."

Meantime, David Toner said the verdict confirms that "change is needed" to the justice system.

"We will continue to be advocates for the rest of our days," he said.


"Fear not your enemies, for they can only kill you; fear not your friends, for they can only betray you. Fear only the indifferent, who permit the killers and betrayers to walk safely on the earth."  --Edward Yashinsky
David Toner
President of F.A.C.T.

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