NORTH BAY -- A North Bay couple who were scammed after a bogus charity used their sick child in a poster to raise thousands of dollars they never saw is delighted that the Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld the case.
This week, the high court upheld both the verdict and the sentence of Adam Gour, of North Bay, who was found guilty in a Barrie court last November of defrauding the people of Ontario by lying to them.
Court heard Gour scoured the Internet for sick and dying children so he could use them to haul in hundreds and thousands of dollars in donations. He would make posters of the children without the knowledge of the families and set up collection boxes in big box stores across Ontario, then told his staff to lie to the public by saying they were volunteers.
In sentencing in a Barrie courtroom a year ago, Justice John McIsaac called Gour's actions "vile and despicable" and sentenced him to 15 months in jail. He was also fined $280,000 with a warning that if he doesn't pay within three years he will be sent to a penitentiary for three years under the proceeds of crime act.
But one day after his sentence the parents of children used in Gour's scams were outraged after he was released from jail while waiting for his appeal to be heard.
"It was like a slap in the face to see him walking around town a free man after what he did." said Alan Wood, of North Bay, whose child was used in a poster. "It's a relief to see him back in jail where he belongs."
His son, who underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor, never received a dime of Gour's campaign that raised thousands of dollars from the North Bay community. Following surgery, the son has since got a clean bill of health. Sadly, however, his mother, Juliet Wood, is now battling with breast cancer that has seeped into her bones.