Nova Scotia

Bail denied for Nova Scotia man who fled for 5 years to avoid paying child support

A Nova Scotia man who owes more than $500,000 in child support will remain in jail until his case is resolved. Joseph Power has refused to pay child support to his ex-wife, Angela Power, for the past seven years.

Joseph Power was arrested last month in Montreal and sent back to Nova Scotia

Joseph Power's request for bail was denied Monday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. (Facebook)

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has denied bail to a man who has refused to pay child support to his ex-wife for the past seven years. 

Joseph Power, who owes more than $500,000 in child support payments, had been on the run since 2015 from multiple contempt of court warrants for failing to attend family court hearings. 

He was arrested Nov. 20 in Montreal and returned to Nova Scotia.

On Monday, Justice Elizabeth Jollimore denied Power's request to be released on bail pending his sentencing on Dec. 21. Power had offered to use his parents' home as a financial guarantee.

Angela Power, shown in this 2015 photo, says she's pleased with the decision to deny her ex-husband, Joseph Power, bail. (CBC)

His former spouse, Angela Power, said she was "very relieved" by the judge's decision.

"In 2015, despite the fact that Mr. Power had a wife, a son in school, a home, elderly parents, a brother, the son that we share here in HRM, he decided to leave and go to Denmark and disrupt everybody's lives," she told CBC News.

"The only way to ensure he appears is to keep him incarcerated."

Lengthy sentence likely, says lawyer

Halifax lawyer Igor Yushchenko, who is representing Angela Power pro bono, said another high-profile case from Nova Scotia could provide guidance on how long a parent can be sentenced for failure to pay child support.

Businessman Vrege Armoyan was sentenced to four years in prison for failing to pay $1.7 million in support to his children in 2015.

"I believe that a reasonable [sentence] will be three to five years, probably ... based on the precedents," Yushchenko said.

Angela Power said her ex-husband is a network security expert who has worked for both national governments and major Canadian banks, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

"I assume his money is offshore, and he can bring it back and pay when he decides he wants to," she said.

Yushchenko said until a sentence is given, it makes sense for Power to stay behind bars.

"It's a fundamental principle of the Canadian justice system that someone has to appear before court in this matter, and he failed to do so many times ... justice can't be served if somebody doesn't show up, right?" he said.