CBC News

Ottawa perjurer sent to jail

Fri, 25 Oct 2002 22:40:05
CBC News

OTTAWA - A notorious perjurer whose lies sent one man to jail for more than three years and cost another his house, his job and access to his three children has herself been sentenced to jail.

Cathy Fordham, 32, who has a long history of bringing false accusations, was sentenced to six months in jail Friday for uttering death threats against a former lover.

Justice Romel Masse said Fordham is a manipulative person and a danger to society.

The case started when Fordham accused Steven Brown, her former boyfriend, of assaulting her. The charges were stayed because the prosecution doubted her credibility.

Meanwhile, Brown said she had threatened to kill him. The judge agreed, finding her guilty in August.

But because of the original assault charge, Brown lost access to his children.

The police and courts "are not equipped to deal with a Cathy Fordham anywhere, because she's such a lying, manipulative person," Brown said. "If you have someone who's lying on the stand and manipulating the system, then they're very hard to identify."

Fordham's complaints resulted in Jamie Nelson being sent to jail for three years. The Ontario Court of Appeal took five minutes to overturn his conviction after Fordham was exposed as a liar.

He was jailed in 1996 after being convicted of sexual assault, assault, forcible confinement and uttering death threats, based on Fordham's evidence.

He refused to admit his guilt, and was put in solitary confinement for 18 months after he refused to undergo counselling as a sex offender. The Children's Aid Society took his son.

Last August, Nelson's conviction was overturned, and he's now suing Fordham, the Crown attorney who prosecuted him and the investigator who gathered evidence.