Calgary

Calgary businessman who paid $1M to harass ex-girlfriend too frail for jail, says lawyer

A Calgary man who paid $1-million to a private investigation firm to harass his ex-girlfriend should not spend any time behind bars because of health and COVID-19 issues, his lawyer argued Thursday.

Ken Carter, 59, should spend 4-5 years in prison, says Crown

Akele Taylor testified her ex, Ken Carter, hired a private investigation firm to stalk her for two years in order to gain custody of their daughter. (Instagram/Supplied)

A Calgary man who paid $1-million to a private investigation firm to harass his ex-girlfriend should not spend any time behind bars because of health and COVID-19 issues, his lawyer argued Thursday.

Ken Carter, 59, was convicted of criminal harassment in 2018 alongside two former Calgary Police Service employees.

He missed three scheduled sentencing dates after he was hospitalized while travelling in Russia.

Prosecutor Katherine Love has proposed a four- to five-year prison term for Carter, while his lawyer Gavin Wolch asked the judge to consider a conditional sentence order, meaning he would serve his sentence at home.

Wolch argued Carter suffers from a heart condition, anxiety and stress and should not be put at further risk in a group living situation.

The defence lawyer also suggested Carter is needed at home so he can take care of his child.

"He's a tremendous father," Wolch said of his client. "Everybody is pleading for this nine year-old girl to have her father."

After questioning health-care authorities from correctional services, Love argued there was no evidence to suggest Carter would be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 given the steps taken to keep the virus from entering the institutions.

Love also reminded the judge that Carter was the driving force behind the harassment.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Glen Poelman will sentence Carter next week.

Former Calgary Police Service employees Heather and Steve Walton were convicted in the harassment case involving Ken Carter and CPS officers. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

During the trial, court heard that in 2012 and 2013, Carter paid nearly $1 million to retired CPS officer Steve Walton and his wife, Heather Walton, who ran an unlicensed private investigation (PI) firm. 

After a bitter breakup with ex-girlfriend Akele Taylor, Carter hired the Waltons in an effort to force his ex to give up custody of the daughter they shared.

In turn, the Waltons used their connections to access Calgary Police Service resources.

Both were convicted of offences related to the harassment of Taylor. 

Bryan Morton, Brad McNish and Tony Braile were convicted of corruption-related offences connected to the harassment and stalking of Akele Taylor. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

As well, three others — all Calgary police officers at the time — were charged and convicted for their roles in the stalking of Taylor.

In April 2018, Bryan Morton, Brad McNish and Tony Braile were convicted of corruption-related offences.

Steve Walton, a retired former drug expert with CPS, was found guilty of criminal harassment as well as bribing an officer.

Heather Walton, who worked for CPS as a civilian employee, was convicted of bribing an officer.

In October, Steve Walton was handed a three-year sentence while Heather Walton received a 15-month term, which she will be allowed to serve in the community under strict conditions, including 24-hour house arrest.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.

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