WOODSTOCK, ONT.— A controversial publication ban in the case of a woman charged in the death of eight-year-old Tori Stafford has been extended.
Justice Dougald McDermid heard arguments to vary the ban Tuesday and today delivered his order and reasons in open court in Woodstock, Ont. Counsel told the court it would seek to appeal today’s order, and as a result McDermid extended the sweeping publication ban. The judge says failure to extend the ban had the potential to result in a miscarriage of justice.
Tori went missing on April 8, 2009 outside her Woodstock school. Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, and Michael Rafferty, 29, were arrested in May 2009 and charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping. McClintic was scheduled to appear in court April 30 in Woodstock but the temporary publication ban prohibited the media from providing any further information until further order of the court. The ban raised hackles across the country.
Front-page newspaper editorials lambasted it as going too far, and experts in media law called the extent of the ban unusual and one that would simply fuel rampant speculation.