Calgary

Calgary millionaire missed flight home for sentencing a day before Russian hospitalization

The Calgary millionaire who paid police officers to stalk his ex-girlfriend had already missed his flight to Alberta when he was admitted to a Russian hospital a day later, according to a travel itinerary filed in court Friday.

Ken Carter paid private investigation firm nearly $1M to harass his ex-girlfriend

Ken Carter, right, hired a private investigation firm to stalk Akele Taylor for nearly two years in an effort to gain custody of their daughter. He was found guilty of criminal harassment. (Instagram/Supplied)

The Calgary millionaire who paid police officers to stalk his ex-girlfriend had already missed his flight to Alberta when he was admitted to a Russian hospital a day later, according to a travel itinerary filed in court Friday.

Ken Carter, 58, was to be sentenced in Calgary Tuesday for criminal harassment but did not show up at court, with defence lawyer Gavin Wolch explaining his client was in a hospital suffering from a heart issue.

Wolch was directed to provide his client's travel itinerary, which would let the judge check whether Carter had purchased return flights from Russia in time to appear in court to receive his sentence.

On Friday, lawyers gathered before Court of Queen's Bench Justice Glen Poelman to provide the judge with an update.

A letter from the Russian hospital says Carter was admitted to hospital on June 10, the day he was to return to Calgary, according to his travel documents.

His return flight booked from London to Calgary was purchased on June 2 for travel on June 9.

First class versus economy seats

Carter's departing flight from Calgary on June 3, which arrived in London on June 4, cost $3,250 for a seat in premium business class. 

On June 2, Carter purchased a return flight from London for travel on June 9 to Calgary cost $652 and was for an economy class seat. 

There had been no flight from Russia to London purchased.

On Friday, the Calgary Police Service sent along a Russian-speaking officer to help translate documents that included a further update from the hospital in Kazan, a city about 800 kilometres east of Moscow.

"It does seem to indicate a health issue that Mr. Carter continues to potentially suffer from," prosecutor Katherine Love said of the letter provided by Wolch.

Love previously noted Carter is in a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty.

A warrant to hold was extended to the next court date by Poelman, meaning if Carter fails to show up and doesn't have an explanation that satisfies the judge, a Canada-wide warrant could be issued for his arrest.

In 2012 and 2013, Carter paid nearly $1,000,000 to retired CPS officer Steve Walton and his wife, Heather Walton, who ran an unlicensed private investigation (PI) firm. 

The Waltons were also convicted of corruption-related offences and were supposed to be sentenced on Tuesday alongside Carter, which was delayed in hopes the trio could face their fates all at once.

Carter wanted the Waltons and their employees to harass Taylor, his ex-girlfriend, in hopes she would give up custody of the daughter they shared.

A GPS tracking device was placed by the Waltons' employees on Taylor's car. In 2012 and 2013, Taylor was followed, harassed and her friends were offered money in exchange for negative information about her. 

Defence lawyers for the trio had argued surveillance was conducted on Taylor to monitor her lifestyle and provided security for Carter and his daughter.

Former Calgary Police Service employees Heather and Steve Walton ran a 'risk management' company and were found guilty of bribing CPS officers for private information from internal police databases. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Text messages between the three accused and others who worked for them showed an effort to wear Taylor down, "push her over the edge" and drive her to "the end of her rope."

They committed to "follow her around the world" if they needed to.

Carter was convicted of criminal harassment. Steve Walton was found guilty of that charge as well as charges of bribing an officer and improper use of a firearm. Heather Walton was convicted of bribing an officer as well as the firearms charge. Jurors were unable to decide whether she was guilty of criminal harassment so a mistrial on that charge was declared.

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

During the execution of a search warrant on the Waltons' home, police found firearms that were improperly stored.

Weeks before the trial, Taylor disappeared and never testified for the prosecution. She told the lead detective she no longer wanted to see Carter convicted. 

But she did testify in April 2018 at the trial for three current and former police officers — Bryan Morton, Brad McNish and Tony Braile — who were convicted of corruption-related offences for their participation in the harassment of Taylor. 

The officers were employees of the Waltons and were each sentenced to jail time though Morton and McNish have been released on bail pending the outcome of their appeals. 

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

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

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