CORNWALL Ontario – Imagine a phone ringing in the blackness of night. You fumble for it and it’s the police. Shaking sleep from your conscious you’re told that you’ve committed a crime.
After shaking my head clear and digesting the call from Cst. McGregor of the Cornwall Police Service that night of February 7th I was bewildered.
I had been told that I had made threatening phone calls. It was bewildering as it had been a good day. I had been in court and it had gone very well. Short of getting paid in fact at that moment it really couldn’t have gone better.
It was a Friday and on Sunday we would be celebrating the fifth anniversary of CFN at the Port theatre with a free event that included a singer, a comic, running the legendary movie Blade Runner, and even free popcorn.
Yet here I was in bed starting to call my legal people. I asked how on earth can they be warning me not to make threatening phone calls when I didn’t make any?
I went to the computer and sure enough nowadays there’s something called “spoofing”. It’s free. You literally can enter any phone number into a system and that number will show up when you make a call. Mostly bill collectors use this service, but it has serious ramifications if used in some manners. I even sent an email to the Chief of Police, Dan Parkinson, explaining that.
Sunday night after our event I was again woken up in my sleep; by the exact same Constable McGregor. I was told that after being warned Friday not to call this person that I allegedly had done so again, and that I had to come to the police station and be formally charged. If I didn’t come immediately they would put out a warrant for my arrest.
Again, not having made the first call; I was upset as I hadn’t made the second one; which according to the disclosure we eventually received alleged I made on the Sunday morning of our event. This time I was also alleged to have threatened to kill the party.
More calls to my legal people. There was nothing I could do. I had to go in and be processed. The day after my charge the police hastily put me in the police blotter which was picked up by media. I was put in a cell, patted down, processed and let go to be later finger printed for the first time since I was an infant.
Cornwall, ON – Jamie Gilcig, 49 of Cornwall was arrested on February 10, 2014 and charged with criminal harassment and threats to life. It is alleged that the man repeatedly contacted a 31-year-old man by way of phone calls and e-mails despite having been warned not to. On February 9th, 2014 the man also threatened to kill the 31-year-old man during one of the calls. Police were contacted and an investigation ensued. On February 10th, 2013 the man attended police headquarters to deal with the matter. He was taken into custody, charged accordingly and later released to appear in court on March 20th, 2014.
As you can imagine this has devastated my life. It also hasn’t helped my run for mayor of Cornwall. When the other media announced I was running the police charges were front and centre.
The funny thing though is my phone, which the disclosure states I phoned from at distinct times and for distinct lengths of time clearly showed I never made any phone calls. Also, my phone records also show that I never made any such calls. I changed my phone number promptly; losing a number I’d had for over ten years and no new charges occurred after. I’d be in breach and in jail most likely if another false complaint came in.
The police never asked for my phone or records before charging me. Crown attorney Jennifer Burke seemed quite happy to press the case without my phone records. In fact it was only after we asked for her to state in writing that she would not request a production order for my phone records that she agreed to put the order in. A production order is from the court to the phone company of the records.
That production order came back categorically stating that I never made any of the phone calls in question in the disclosure.
That was nearly a month ago and she has still not dropped my case nor the conditions I’ve been forced to live under.
Clearly if I did not make the calls in question the claims of death threats clearly could not have occurred and thereby are utterly false. To date that person has not been charged yet the police were extremely fast to not only charge me, but to put my name in the public eye. Why was that? After all not all names are used in the blotter and in fact not every person charged is put in the blotter either.
For example I cannot move without notifying police. Of course I can’t come into contact with the party(s) that laid the complaint; but most damaging is I can’t disclose who they are under threat of breach. That means these months of rumours, gossip, and smearing have essentially gone unchecked while the person that made the complaints hasn’t had a bother. I can’t write about what happened that day only hours before police placed the first warning or what possible motivation the parties might have had in laying their claims.
The charges also caused “blood in the water” which led to other non related attacks.
The Media is up in arms over the sentencing of Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy in Egypt; but there has been no support for my case here in Canada.
Do we live in Iran? China? Russia? While some may not be a fan of CFN surely this kind of treatment isn’t fair dinkum?
Today is June 24, 2014. This has gone on since February 7, 2014. That’s a long time to tie up someone’s life for something that clearly never occurred.
And the only responses or possible resolutions can never repair the damage caused by this ordeal. The scariest thing is that my case is not unique; and far too many innocent people are tarnished or destroyed by these types of actions.
Is this what we call justice?
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)
Comment policy reminder
CFN suggests you post comments using your real name. If you wish to post with a pseudonym you can register that user id by emailing email@example.com with your name, address, phone number and user id you wish to register.