Toronto man accused of imprisoning homeless couple and taking baby to learn his fate

Gary Willett has pleaded not guilty to assault, abduction, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life

A Toronto man accused of keeping a homeless couple captive and forcing them to give up their baby so he could raise it as his own is expected to learn his fate today.

Gary Willett has pleaded not guilty to assault, abduction, forcible confinement, failing to provide the necessaries of life and theft in a series of events that began more than 20 years ago.

His wife, Maria Willett, has also pleaded not guilty to similar charges but will be tried separately.

At a hearing today, an Ontario judge is expected to rule on the case, which revolves around the relationship between the Willetts and Tim Goldrick and Barbara Bennett, a couple they took under their wing in the 1980s.

The Crown alleges the Willetts became abusive towards the pair, keeping them captive, taking their disability cheques and their first-born son, who grew up thinking the Willetts were his biological parents.

Court heard Bennett eventually left the home, but Goldrick remained until 2012, when his now-grown son and two others took him from the family home.

Defence lawyer Sam Goldstein, meanwhile, alleges the Willetts’ children, including Goldrick and Bennett’s biological child, are in collusion and have influenced the couple.

He has said Bennett agreed to let the Willetts take her baby and later changed her story because it was easier than admitting she had given up her child.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kindness Ninjas spread the love during COVID-19 – and there’s a local connection to the movement

Veronica Carrier, a grade three teacher at BCE, had her class acting as “kindness ninjas” months ago

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Most Read