Missing evidence at Halifax police station reignites questions about historic case
The missing evidence at a Halifax Regional Police station isn’t sitting well with a Nova Scotia family who has spent decades trying to right what they’re calling an injustice.
For over 30 years, the Fitzgerald family has fought to clear the name of Gordon “Paddy” Fitzgerald, who was sentenced to six years for rape.
The high-profile criminal lawyer and politician professed his innocence until his death two years ago.
His daughter, Allison Jones, has collected piles of paperwork on the case, but can't seem to find what she's really looking for.
“It could clear him without a doubt,” says Jones.
At the trial and prior to DNA testing, a slide with semen was entered as evidence.
“I've had his DNA mocked up in the event we did find the slides or any of the exhibits,” says Jones. “I could have it tested against to prove whether he was the person who committed this crime.”
When Jones received the DNA results in 2009, she wrote Halifax Regional Police requesting the slide. Halifax police said they did not possess the information.
Jones still hasn't been able to determine where the slide containing the DNA is, or if it even exists.
According to the courts, after the completion of a case and the time for an appeal has expired, exhibits are either returned to their owners, sent to the Nova Scotia Archives, or destroyed.
“There should be something that states that they've been destroyed or where they went from the trial,” says Jones.
Fitzgerald received a pardon after he served his sentence. Jones says it doesn't come close to exonerating her father. She believes there was a miscarriage of justice and they've lived with it for three decades.
“That was the hardest thing my father ever had to do in his life was to tell a grandchild that he was a convicted felon,” says Jones.
Jones says she won't rest until her father's name is cleared.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl