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Defence statements filed in cop's fetish photo civil suit

Two of the four defendants named in a civil suit launched by a Coquitlam RCMP officer after his online fetish photos were made public have filed their responses.

Cpl. James Brown filed the lawsuit last November in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, claiming damages for "substantial and persisting injury to the plaintiff's reputation, injury to his pride and self-confidence, and severe emotional distress."

The suit names New Westminster resident Grant Wakefield, Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward and two unidentified people, who Wakefield names in his response as Denman Island residents Mike Webster, a well known police psychologist, and his wife, Moira Webster.

Brown's suit alleges Wakefield set up false profiles to access the members-only fetish website Fetlife, where he then copied Brown's online profile information and photos. He is then alleged to have sent the material to the media, as well as Ward, resulting in the unlawful breach of Brown's privacy.

Brown alleged the resulting media coverage, as well as posts on blogs and Twitter, were caused by the defendants and either stated or implied Brown is corrupt, has engaged in criminal activity with numerous victims, poses a risk to society and is violent and sadistic.

Cameron Ward, who represented several families of the missing women during the Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry, was named in the suit for three blog posts in which Brown is said to be a sexual sadist with close ties to the Pickton family.

Brown's lawsuit alleges the posts suggest the RCMP knew of Pickton's killing spree but failed to act "for fear of implicating one or more of their members in criminal activity," due to Brown's "lifestyle and predilections."

Brown has said he played a minor role in the Robert Pickton murder investigation in 1999, forwarding the information of a witness to the Vancouver Police Department and conducting surveillance shifts of the Pickton property.

Ward's response to the civil claim, however, alleges Brown "received highly relevant information provided by an informant, Ross Caldwell" and "The information... was accurate and, if it had been adequately followed up, might have led to the apprehension of Pickton three years before he was ultimately arrested."

Ward also notes his blog posts related to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, not on the murders committed by Pickton or the investigation leading to his arrest.

He also denies the "statements attributed to him there are false and defamatory of the plaintiff as alleged" and notes the blog posts have since been removed.

In explanation of the legal basis of his claim, Ward states "the extracts from the blog posts... do not bear the meanings attributed to them by the plaintiff" and were a "fair comment on a matter of public interest."

Wakefield has also filed a response to the civil suit, in which he repeats many of the statements and allegations against Brown.

He claims to have been working under contract with the RCMP to collect evidence against Brown "due to my investigative background and close ties within the RCMP."

Wakefield states that Fetlife is a free website to which anyone can gain access and therefore Brown did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The claims in the various documents have not been proven in court.

spayne@tricitynews.com

 

 

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