Calgary

Former Calgary police officer and wife sentenced in harassment case

A former Calgary police officer has been sent to prison for his role in the harassment of a young woman who was in the middle of a hostile custody battle.

Steve Walton sentenced to 3 years in prison, wife Heather Walton to serve 15 months on house arrest

Former Calgary Police Service employees Heather and Steve Walton were sentenced on Wednesday for their role in the harassment of a young woman. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

A former Calgary police officer has been sent to prison for his role in the harassment of a young woman who was in the middle of a hostile custody battle. 

Steve Walton, 62, who along with his wife ran an unlicensed private investigation firm, received a three-year sentence from Court of Queen's Bench Justice Glen Poelman on Wednesday. 

"[Steve Walton] traded on his experience, reputation and connections as a long time officer … to conduct and oversee the criminal harassment of Ms. Taylor," said Poelman.

Heather Walton, 56, was sentenced to 15 months for bribery but will be allowed to serve the time in the community under strict conditions, including 24-hour house arrest.

The couple, both dressed in black T-shirts and jeans, hugged and kissed goodbye as Steve was led by a sheriff into custody.

The Waltons, along with Ken Carter, were convicted of corruption-related offences last October for their roles in stalking Carter's ex-girlfriend, Akele Taylor.

Carter was convicted of criminal harassment and is currently in Russia with an undisclosed medical condition.

Prosecutors Katherine Love and Ryan Persad are considering whether to have a hearing in which they would argue Carter is absconding. 

Akele Taylor's former partner, Ken Carter, hired the Walton's private investigation firm to stalk her in order to gain custody of their daughter. The Waltons were sentenced Wednesday while Carter remains in Russia. (Instagram/Supplied)

In 2012, after a bitter breakup with Taylor, Carter hired the Waltons in an effort to force his ex to give up custody of the daughter they shared.

Carter paid the Waltons about $1 million for their work. 

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

Steve Walton, a former 25-year member of CPS who worked as a drug expert, was found guilty of criminal harassment as well as charges of bribing an officer and improper storage of a firearm.

Heather Walton — a former civilian employee of the police service — was convicted of bribing an officer and on the firearm charge. 

3 officers also convicted

The bribery charges relate to paying police officers to access and share information from internal CPS databases on Taylor and her friends.

In allowing Heather to serve her sentence in the community, Poelman noted her "admirable record" for work and volunteering as well as several letters of support and a statement to court in which she expressed remorse.

Jurors were unable to decide whether Heather was guilty of criminal harassment, so a mistrial was declared on that charge. 

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner wouldn't say yet whether he plans to appeal the Waltons' convictions and/or sentences.

In a separate, earlier trial, three current and former police officers who worked for the Waltons — Bryan Morton, Brad McNish and Tony Braile — were convicted of corruption-related offences for their participation in the harassment of Taylor. 

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

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

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