Toronto Sun

June 10, 2002

"It's round 2 in battle over kids"

By MARK BONOKOSKI -- Toronto Sun

After 70 hours on a Vancouver-Toronto Greyhound bus, Trevor B. arrived in Brampton court on time Friday, expecting he'd be heading off to jail for breaching the restraining order his estranged wife had levelled against him.

It was one of those she-said/he-said situations and, as was written here last Wednesday, Trevor B.'s lawyer figured what "he" said would get short shrift and what "she" said would carry the day.

His chances of going to jail? Ninety-eight per cent, said his lawyer.

The beginning of the marriage's end can be tracked back some 18 months when Trevor left his wife and two young boys in Brampton to return to Jasper, Alta., where the children were born -- the plan being that he would find a job, set up house, and call for them to join him when all was in order.

"We just wanted out of Ontario," he had said. "We loved Jasper and we wanted to go back."

This, of course, was not to be.

When Trevor called from Jasper three months later to tell his wife that he had their airline tickets in hand, she told him that she had since fallen in love with someone else and that she and the children were staying put.

In fact, the new man in her life had already moved in. "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," Trevor said. "And I never saw it coming."

The restraining order that came shortly thereafter prohibited Trevor from any communication with his ex-wife. And this is where the she-said/he-said scenario comes into play.

Threat alleged

On the eve of Father's Day last year, she said he called and threatened her with harm. He said he did no such thing, and had called solely to remind his two boys to pack their life jackets for a Father's Day trip to a local swimming pool.

When she answered the phone, and not one of the boys, Trevor B. was technically in breach of the restraining order the moment he opened his mouth.

She said he got verbally abusive; he said he didn't.

And so it was off to court.

Since he was initially charged, Trevor B. has been living in Vancouver with his parents, figuring he was in a no-win situation in Brampton -- all of which goes to explain why he was on a Greyhound bus for almost three straight days last week, heading back to Ontario for his date in court.

"If I don't show up in court, there'll be a warrant for my arrest for failure to appear," he explained back then. "With that hanging over my head, it will ensure I never get to see my kids again."

The stage is therefore set. Trevor B. shows up in Brampton court Friday, expecting to go to jail but at least protecting his ability to see his children.

His case was called shortly after 10 a.m. His ex-wife was there, visibly expectant, he noted. But they exchanged not a word.

"My lawyer told me to keep my mouth shut, and I did," he said. "Seeing her pregnant, though, was a bit of a shocker, but what can you do?"

No sooner was Trevor B.'s name called, however, than the Crown admitted the paperwork could not be found and asked for a recess. By 4 p.m., with the paperwork still missing and the judge now fully advised of the lengths to which Trevor B. had gone to be in court, the case was tossed out.

Any sense of victory, however, was short-lived.

Family court

A few days before Trevor boarded that Greyhound bus, his wife had gone to family court to have all his visitations rights to his children curtailed.

"She knows I want to take them to British Columbia to visit their grandparents," he said. "She is trying to claim that I would never return them to her.

"Why would I do that? My life is hardly one that can be considered stable. Look at me. I'm 34 years old and back living with my parents. She has all the stability, not me. All I want is reasonable access."

Instead of heading back to Vancouver this morning on yet another Greyhound bus, Trevor B. will again be in Brampton court -- this time family division -- bound and determined to convince the judge that he has no intention of running off with his own children.

"When will this end?" he asks. "I mean, what possibly could my ex-wife say next?"

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.