Calgary businessman convicted of harassing ex-girlfriend asks judge to drop perjury charge

Ken Carter, a wealthy Calgary businessman who paid current and former police officers $1 million to harass his ex-girlfriend is now asking a Calgary judge to drop the perjury charge he still faces connected to his family court custody case. 

Carter and former police officer Steve Walton are supposed to go on trial in November, accused of lying to a judge in 2014.

In asking Court of Queen’s Bench Justice William Tilleman to stay Carter’s perjury charge, defence lawyer Gavin Wolch argued it’s taken too long between when the charge was laid in 2016 and the trial.

Walton’s lawyer had already waived delay so he will still go to trial in November.

Two weeks ago, Carter was sentenced to three years in prison after he was convicted of criminally harassing Akele Taylor in 2012 and 2013 in an effort to frighten her into giving him sole custody of their daughter.

Carter has not yet started serving that sentence because he was released on bail pending the outcome of his appeal. 

Akele Taylor’s former partner Ken Carter hired a private investigation firm to stalk her for two years in order to gain custody of their daughter. Six people including Carter have been convicted of various charges in connection with the harassment case. (Instagram/Supplied)

In 2018, Carter was convicted of criminal harassment. Two retired Calgary Police Service employees and three current and former officers were also found guilty of various offences connected to the stalking of Taylor. 

Carter, 59, was sentenced nearly two years after his conviction because he travelled to Russia after he was found guilty and was hospitalized, missing three scheduled sentencing hearings.

In August 2012, Taylor and Carter broke up shortly after she gave birth to their daughter.

Carter then hired retired CPS drug expert Steve Walton and his wife, who were running an unlicensed private investigation firm, to follow and harass Taylor.

The Waltons’ employees included current and former police officers. Their tactics involved paying officers to search CPS internal databases for information to assist in their harassment campaign.

They also placed a GPS tracking device on Taylor’s car.

Walton and Carter were also charged with perjury, accused of lying about Carter’s role in the stalking of Taylor when they testified during a family court hearing in March 2014.

Carter allegedly said he had very little hands-on involvement in the surveillance Walton was doing, while Walton testified he did not take instructions from Carter.

Their six-week trial set to begin in November.

Two Supreme Court of Canada decisions in recent years have put hard timelines on how long is reasonable for a case to make its way through the courts. 

For a superior court case like Carter’s, a 30-month timeline was assigned by the country’s highest court in its so-called Jordan decision.

In this case, both prosecutor Katherine Love and Wolch agree there has been a delay of 41.5 months.

Love argued that 13 months of that delay was due to a late application by defence to try the perjury charges separately.

Wolch argued the Crown was told defence was contemplating such an application in 2016. But Love pointed out defence waited until just a couple of months before the originally scheduled trial to actually make the application, meaning that it was inevitable one of the cases would have to be scheduled outside the Jordan time frame.

In his arguments Wednesday, Wolch said the Crown had suggested this was a defence strategy to cause delay, which he said was “simply wrong.”

Tilleman will make his decision whether to stay Carter’s perjury charge on Friday.

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