Wednesday, June 5, 2002
She said/he said
Husband risks jail after talking to estranged wife instead of kidsBy Mark Bonokoski
At this moment, he is on a Greyhound bus, Toronto-bound from Vancouver, straight through, 70 hours of staring out a window, his $164 one-way ticket having a final stop that could be a jail cell.
From Heartbreak Hotel to the Crowbar Arms. That's how Trevor B. sees it all unfolding.
"My lawyer says I have a 98% chance of going to jail," he says. "Anywhere from one month to two years less a day. Still, this trip back to Toronto is one I have to take."
Trevor B. is scheduled to appear this Friday in a Brampton courthouse to face a charge of breaching a restraining order, one which his ex-wife levelled against him when he allegedly called her home last year on the eve of Father's Day.
It is a she said/he said scenario, of course, typical of so many marital disintegrations. She said he threatened violence against her and called the police. He said he was only calling to remind his two young children to pack their life jackets for a Father's Day trip to a local swimming pool.
The restraining order prohibits him from communicating with his ex-wife, but not their children.
Yet it was she who answered the phone.
What would Solomon do?
The marital meltdown began a year earlier. Trevor B., with his wife's blessing, returned to Jasper, Alta., where both their young children were born, to set up a home and a new life, the deal being that his family would join him later.
"We just wanted out of Ontario," he says. "We loved Jasper and we wanted to go back."
Three months later, after renting a house and securing a job managing a candy store, Trevor B. called back home to Brampton with news that he had bought the airline tickets and was all set for the family to fly out and be reunited.
What he heard from his wife, however, was that she had fallen in love with someone else and that the last place she and the children were going was Jasper.
"Fact is, the guy had already moved in," Trevor B. says. "As I was talking to my wife on the telephone, he was sitting in my living room, on my couch, watching my TV with my remote.
"And I never saw it coming."
It was shortly after he returned to Brampton to face this turn of events that his wife had the restraining order issued against him.
Having rented an apartment in Mississauga, and having found a job working as a chef at a roadhouse tavern, Trevor B. walked his kids to school one morning as he did virtually every day, headed off to work and, in the middle of his shift, found himself being publicly arrested by Peel regional police for allegedly threatening harm to his now estranged wife.
"I may be no angel," he says, "but there is no way I threatened her. My children are too important to me and there is no way I would jeopardize my access to them by doing something so stupid."
Again, she said/he said.
And what she said carried the most weight in the eyes of the police although, it should be noted, Trevor B. was released almost immediately on his own recognizance, which is a rare occurrence if police truly believe one side of the domestic discord is absolutely beyond doubt.
None of this changes his date in court, of course, which is why Trevor B. is currently riding a Greyhound bus scheduled to arrive at the Toronto terminus later today.
LIVED WITH PARENTS
The 70-hour journey is not new. He did the Toronto-Vancouver run last year when it became clear he was in a no-win situation back home and, as a 34-year-old with few places to turn, found himself once again living with his parents in British Columbia.
But the charge against him in Ontario is one from which he cannot run away.
"If I don't show up in court, there'll be a warrant for my arrest in Ontario for failure to appear," he says. "With that hanging over my head, it will ensure I never get to see my kids again.
"This way, even if convicted, at least there will not be an entire province between me and my children.
"I'll just do the time, and hope that some sort of arrangement can be worked out," he says.
"If I don't do this, there is no hope. And hope is all I have to work with right now.
"This isn't what you would call a fun trip."
Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.