|Trevor Edwards, a 42-year-old with a rap sheet three pages long.
TORONTO - You couldn’t make this stuff up. Or as defence lawyer Leora Shemesh so aptly told the judge, “This is what Hollywood movies are made of.”
Before the sentencing court was Trevor Edwards, a 42-year-old with a rap sheet three pages long, a dad who’s a justice of the peace and a brother who’s the man acquitted in the notorious Caribana shooting of 1996.
His most recent crimes - he’s pleaded guilty to 12 charges in all - involve beating and kidnapping his former stripper girlfriend after she took off in their Mercedes, not knowing he’d hidden $50,000 in the trunk. After finding the windfall and unwisely investing some of it with a drug dealer, she was hunted down by Edwards and his new girlfriend and held captive for days until she was rescued by her 65-year-old lover, a married Guelph lawyer who managed to smuggle her out of the hotel room where she was being held hostage.
Got all that?
Other tangents in the story, according to the agreed statement of facts, include an Officer Greenaway, a Toronto cop who the year before told the abused girlfriend to ‘fess up to owning the 78 grams of heroin discovered under her boyfriend’s car seat because he didn’t care who it belonged to, he just wanted to charge one of them so he could go home for the night.
But let us begin at the beginning of this sordid saga.
Opening scene: June 8, 2008 when Trevor Edwards meets the 22-year-old at a downtown Toronto nightclub and is soon forcing her to hand over all her earnings.
Within a few months, he was also beating her. At one point, he grabbed her neck while she was driving and threatened to smash her head into the steering wheel. She reported the incident to police and a warrant was issued for his arrest, but sadly, they soon reconciled.
Not surprisingly, the assaults continued. In February 2009, the pair was questioned about the heroin found during a traffic stop. According to the agreed statement of facts, the officer said “Listen, it’s been a long day, I want to go home to my wife, one of you is taking the charge, I don’t care who it is, either one of you or both of you is taking it, you guys decide.”
When he left them alone, Edwards promised to forgive her for reporting his assault to the cops if she’d agree to take the heroin rap for him. He also convinced her to recant her statement in court about his assaulting her. Released on a peace bond he ignored, their volatile relationship soon resumed.
On Dec. 8, 2009, she was found unconscious on the side of the road after Edwards punched her in the face and pushed her out of the car. She knew she had to flee but every time she tried, he’d hunt her down, threaten her family, even demand $10,000 to leave her alone or he’d break her father’s arm.
In June 2010, after yet another beating, she finally escaped in the Mercedes to her girlfriend’s place in Niagara Falls. Imagine Edwards’ fury when he discovered the car gone - with his shoebox full of money hidden inside.
He was determined to hunt down both her and his missing cash. His new girlfriend staked out tanning salons and gyms until they finally found her a month later and demanded the money back. When Edwards discovered $20,000 was with a drug dealer, he held her hostage in his Niagara Falls hotel room and threatened to kill her mother if she didn’t get it back.
Her lawyer lover talked Edwards into bringing her to Guelph where he’d pay him the outstanding cash in return for her freedom. But while the kidnapper was waiting in the lobby, the sexagenarian managed to rescue her and call police.
“This is not a standard domestic and Mr. Edwards is certainly not a standard domestic abuser,” said Crown attorney Michael Demczur in asking for a sentence of 3.5 years.
Shemesh wants time served and pointed to his supportive family, including his father, JP Clement Edwards.
Justice Peter West is to deliver his sentence in August.
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