TORONTO, Ontario, February 15, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Linda Gibbons was committed to a trial to be held on Thursday, April 26 on a charge of disobeying a court order during a brief appearance in a Toronto courtroom Tuesday morning. The trial, expected to last four hours, will be held beginning at 10 a.m. in room 504 of the College Park courthouse at Yonge and College Streets in downtown Toronto.
The charge was laid following her appearance outside the Morgentaler “Clinic” abortion site in Toronto last December 16. The site is protected by a civil court-imposed “bubble zone” that prohibits pro-life activity of any kind within its boundaries. The Crown withdrew an accompanying charge of obstructing a police officer because “there was no reasonable probability of conviction” on it. See video of the arrest here.
The coming trial will be precluded, however, should the Supreme Court of Canada bring down a decision that Gibbons and others cannot be charged criminally for violations of injunctions enacted by civil courts. That issue is currently being pondered by the court on account of an appeal by Gibbons’s legal counsel. Various injunctions under which Gibbons has been charged over the years have been enacted by civil courts; however, she has always been charged and convicted criminally. The court will decide whether this is a proper procedure.
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Gibbons remains incarcerated at the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton pending her trial as she refuses to sign bail conditions that require her to stay away from abortion sites. During the Tuesday morning appearance, about a half-dozen supporters in the public gallery stood in salute as she entered and left the courtroom.
Meanwhile, Mary Wagner has been freed on bail pending her coming two-day trial February 28 and 29 on charges of mischief and two counts of failing to comply with a probation order regarding her arrest at the Bloor West Village “Women’s Clinic” abortion site last November 8. She has also altered her previous stance on representing herself and now will have lawyer Russell Browne acting on her behalf. The trial will take place in room 506 of the College Park courthouse, beginning at 10 a.m. both days.
It had been stated at an earlier hearing that assistant Crown attorney Lara Crawford will be prosecuting the case and will be seeking a four- to six-month jail term, in addition to probation orders. It was also said Crawford will be seeking “victim input” from people who were allegedly “harassed” by Wagner at the abortion site. Two arresting police officers and an abortion site employee will be called as witnesses.
See video of Wagner’s arrest here.