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Unless otherwise noted, the reports on this page were written by M. Monastyrskyj, CELOS researcher
Judy Bishop is angry because disclosure isn't ready yet. At one point she complains to the student working as an agent for her lawyer that he isn't the one who is incarcerated. The student tells Bishop he doesn't appreciate her attitude. Bishop says something about the 30 days limit coming up. A return date of May 12 is proposed but Bishop objects. Finally a return date of May 5 is agreed to.
Judy Bishop appears to be in a good mood. She is smiling and at one point begins dancing and clapping her hands. At another point she sticks out her tongue at the camera while the lawyers and the Justice of the Peace are talking. Bishop asks the Justice of the Peace if he used to be a court guard. Then she says it's great that he has gone up in the world. She is laughing when she says this and it's hard to tell if she's joking or not. The JP smiles while she talks.
Bishop asks about disclosure. It isn't ready yet. The JP says if it isn't ready soon he will have to talk to the officer in charge of the case. A return date is set for Monday May 12 in courtroom 503.
Courtroom 503, College Park. The court session begins at 10am. Court officers bring Judy Bishop to the court at 11:10am. Bishop's lawyer isn't present. Instead a law student (Vuksic?) is there as an agent for Bishop's lawyer. It is common for students to appear in place of lawyers for routine appearances where little more than a new date is set. While the court is dealing with another case, Bishop angrily asks the student why she hasn't been in to see her. "Why am I sitting here? So that you can look at me like I'm a monster?" she asks. "Do I look like a monster?" The judge asks for quiet. This seems to make her angrier. "F** this. Yo, take me out of here then. You're a c**t." It's not clear whether Bishop means the student or the judge. Court officers escort Bishop out.
Ten minutes later Bishop is brought back in. The student representing Bishop tells the judge her office has only received partial disclosure. She notes this is the fourth time they have asked for all the disclosure. The defense is still missing a statement from the victim and a DVD. The Crown says the DVD will be available by Bishop's next appearance. Bishop asks "What happens if the there's no DVD then?" The judge replies, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it." Bishop responds, "That will be a nice bridge to cross. You take people's freedom lightly. I hope you can sleep at night." Bishop's next appearance is set for 10am June 2, courtroom 503, College Park.
Courtroom 503, College Park. 10am The law student working for Bishop's lawyer has a brief conversation with the Crown attorney. The Crown attorney says the case is being moved to courtroom 505. When Bishop's name is mentioned the court officers say something about her and start to laugh. When the law student goes over to 505, I follow but can't get in because all the seats are taken. A little while later she goes back to 503. Again I follow. The law student says something to the judge about diversion being a possibility, but I can't hear the name of the accused they are talking about. Given the serious nature of the charges against Bishop, it's unlikely they were talking about her.
The court clerk at old City Hall tells CELOS that Bishop's next court date is July 28 at 10am. She will appear in courtroom 508, College Park. The clerk says Bishop is facing these charges:
2) forcible confinement
3) threatening death
4) threatening bodily harm
Judy Bishop is scheduled to appear in courtroom 508, College Park at 10am. It is my understanding that this will be a preliminary hearing. When I arrive at 9:45, the courtroom is still locked. A few minutes later a tall burly man with a beard tries the door. I ask him if Judy Bishop will be appearing in this courtroom today. He says yes and asks me if I'm a friend of Bishop's. After I say I'm here on behalf of a community group that has been following the case I ask if this is going to be a preliminary hearing. He says he doesn't know what's going to happen today and walks away.
The courtroom is open at 5 to 10. The man I had been talking to turns out to be Bishop's lawyer. He starts to talk to provincial Crown attorney Linda Shin. Shin says "We can't find her. The police haven't seen her in three months." At first I think she might be talking about Bishop but then I remember Bishop has been in court several times over the last few months.
The court session begins at 10. The clerk announces that this is the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The judge is J. Sutherland. He is an older man who uses a cane. The court quickly deals with two matters. Then there is a short delay as the court waits for the court officers to bring in Bishop. Officers bring Bishop to the prisoners' box at 10:15. Shin tells Sutherland that the Crown wishes to withdraw the charges, but first offers some background on the case. Shin says the charges are all related to an incident that happened at the end of March. The complainant is a woman of no fixed address, but someone who the police know. However, the police lost contact and haven't seen her in three months despite efforts to find her. Those efforts included looking through databases of sudden deaths. After Shin finishes speaking, Sutherland tells the clerk to mark the charges as withdrawn. He then calls a recess.
At this point I don't know the judge's name but want to find out. When I try to walk up to the court clerk to ask, a uniformed court officer says very sharply "Hey! Get back! You can't approach the court!" I step back and go outside. A few minutes later I see the officer who snapped at me. I ask him if he can tell me the name of the judge. He politely says, "Sutherland, I think." Then I see the clerk leave the courtroom. When I ask her, she says firmly "Sutherland." When I ask for the judge's first name she pauses for a moment, then says, "initial J, John, I think."
As I am walking to the elevator, I hear one woman say to another "Yeah Judy Bishop. I know who she is." Right after I enter the elevator, Bishop steps in. She's talking to a friend. Using some unprintable expletives, she expresses her contempt for the police, saying she's not afraid of them. She gets out at the floor above mine.