Friday, November 30, 2012


The acquittal of Raymond Gerald Newman for the 2007 murder of his estranged wife, Chrissy Predham-Newman is a disturbing of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

St. John’s has seen its share of bungled police investigations that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice. In 1994, Gregory Parsons was convicted of the first-degree murder of his mother, Catherine Carroll, in St. John's. Despite hard evidence like DNA or a murder weapon.

Like the Predham-Newman case, the RNC felt they had their man.

It was an open and closed case.

In 1996 the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal ordered a new trial. The Crown requested a stay of proceedings in 1998, when DNA proved Mr. Parsons innocent, he was acquitted in November, 1998. In 2002 Brian Doyle, a childhood friend of Parsons, childhood pled guilty to the murder.

Randy Druken, convicted of the 1993 murder of his girlfriend, Brenda Marie Young. The Crown eventually stayed the charges. He served more than six years in prison for the murder.

In 2006, the Lamer Inquiry concluded that poor police work and tunnel vision led to the wrongful convictions of Parsons and Druken.

Than there was the heist of $14,000 in cash from a secure locker at the RNC HQ in 2009 that hit a dead end.  The perfect crime!

Their credibility has protectors of peace, of public and personal property, their reputation as competent investigators are tarnished in the eyes of the public.

I know plenty of retired and current RNC Officers. They are decent, upstanding people who take their badge and the responsibility that goes with it seriously.

Newman’s acquittal is based on the courts conclusion that the RNC messed up. Key evidence was thrown out because the police force was viewed to have infringed on the accused constitution rights. Is this justice? Of course not!

The Crown plans to appeal Justice James Adams’ conclusions about the evidence.

Comments from Royal Newfoundland Constabulary boss, Bob Johnston, are even more infuriating.  They say there are no other persons of interest in the case. They had their man. Is it possible that the investigators bungled an investigation so badly that a cold blooded murderer is free on “technicalities” or is this case of tunnel vision?

This latest incident casts a dark shadow on this historic policing organization.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with most of your article and am dumbfounded that the RNC has bungled yet another high profile case. Was justice done, no. But that 'crime' lays squarely at the feet of the RNC. Were lessons not learned from past mistakes? It seems not. And the Chief makes comments that may come back to haunt him!

It seems that the warrants and all evidence that was gathered was based on the initial interview and several lawyers have said this interview will never be admissible and thus the warrants and evidence collected after based on the interview will also be dismissed. A discussion with a friend in the legal community doubts this will ever go to trial even under appeal.

I feel terrible for the family but the victims aunt is quoted on CBC as saying she doesn't blame the RNC because they were essentially 'nice' to them throughout the investigation. Someone there needs to step back and take a second sober look. The concern everyone should have is whether this is how all investigations are conducted because if the right protocols were in place and followed, this story would likely be much different.