Calgary

Judge denies Calgary businessman's bid to get out of perjury trial

A Calgary judge has shut down wealthy businessman Ken Carter's bid to get out of his perjury trial, set to take place in November. Carter has already been convicted of criminal harassment related to a custody dispute.

Ken Carter already convicted of harassment, now going to trial for perjury this fall

Ken Carter, a former Jenny Craig franchise owner who is said to be worth $80 million, hired a PI firm run by retired Calgary police officer Steve Walton and his wife, Heather, funding a two-year campaign of stalking and harassment against her. (Submitted)

A Calgary judge has shut down wealthy businessman Ken Carter's bid to get out of his perjury trial, set to take place in November.

Carter has already been convicted of criminal harassment after paying current and former police officers to stalk and bully his ex-girlfriend during a bitter breakup and custody dispute in 2012 and 2013.

Now, he is set to go on trial in November for perjury, accused of lying to a judge during related family court proceedings in 2014.

In asking Justice William Tilleman to stay the perjury charge, Carter's lawyer Gavin Wolch argued it took too long for his client's case to get to trial.

The accused can't 'benefit from his own inaction'

But prosecutor Katherine Love said much of the delay was because of a late application by the defence to try Carter's perjury and harassment cases separately.

Tilleman ultimately agreed with Love.

"The severance application, although a legitimate action, was undertaken in a manner, 17 months later, that would essentially see the accused benefit from his own inaction," said the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench justice.

"Mr. Carter cannot both manufacturer delay and then complain that the criminal proceedings against him have taken too long."

Akele Taylor's former partner Ken Carter hired a private investigation firm to stalk her for two years in order to gain custody of their daughter. Six people including Carter have been convicted of various charges in connection with the harassment case. (Instagram/Supplied)

Both Carter and Steve Walton, who ran the unlicensed private investigation firm used by Carter in his harassment of Akele Taylor, will be tried on charges of perjury in November. 

They are accused of lying about the extent of their business relationship during testimony in family court. 

Carter allegedly denied involvement in the surveillance of Taylor while Walton is accused of testifying that Carter was not involved in instructing the private investigation run by Walton and his wife.

Carter hated his ex so much he spent nearly $1,000,000 to bully her into giving him sole custody of the daughter they shared after their 2012 breakup.

He paid current and former Calgary police employees to follow and harass Taylor over the course of about 18 months.

Their tactics involved paying officers to search CPS internal databases for information and putting a GPS tracking device on Taylor's car.

Taylor's mother testified her daughter was so stressed out she had become suicidal. 

A total of six people — including Carter and Walton — were convicted of various crimes related to the harassment of Taylor and police corruption related to the so-called private investigation funded by Carter.

But after Carter's 2018 criminal harassment conviction, he left for Russia, becoming ill in that country and spending seven months there until his lawyer says he was healthy enough to return.

Earlier this month, a judge sentenced the 59-year-old to three years in prison, but an appeal was filed on the same day and Carter was released pending the higher court's decision.

A date for appeal arguments has not yet been set.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is a justice affairs reporter. She has been covering courts, crime and stories of police accountability in southern Alberta for more than a decade. Send Meghan a story tip at meghan.grant@cbc.ca or follow her on Twitter.

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