Ex-husband of woman in hit man case ‘amazed’ by SCC ruling
Published Friday, January 18, 2013 10:49PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 18, 2013 10:53PM EST
The ex-husband of a Nova Scotia woman who tried to hire a hit man to kill him says her allegations of abuse are “completely false” and that he is amazed at the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to stay her case.
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court had acquitted Nicole Ryan in 2009 on charges of counselling to commit murder after she claimed duress under the so-called battered woman's defence. That decision was then upheld by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, but prosecutors pursued the case all the way to the country's highest court.
The Supreme Court on Friday overturned Ryan's acquittal, ruling the defence’s duress argument was incorrect, but it also stayed the case, meaning there will be no retrial and her long legal battle is over.
But for her husband, Michael Ryan, the court’s decision is bewildering.
“I’m amazed that the court has made a ruling in her favour when nobody has heard my response to the allegations,” he said in an interview with CTV News. “They’ve based their decision solely on her testimony. Nobody has interviewed me or questioned me. I didn’t testify.”
Nicole Ryan said she tried at least nine times to get police protection from her estranged husband, an ex-soldier who she said began showing up at their daughter's school and once drove her and her daughter to a remote wooded area, saying he planned to bury their bodies there.
The trial judge described the husband as carrying out a "reign of terror" over his wife and daughter.
The RCMP had carried out a sting operation against Nicole Ryan and arrested her when she offered $25,000 to an undercover officer -- posing as a hit man -- to kill Michael.
The Supreme Court said it was disquieting that the RCMP launched a sting operation against her, rather than help the woman who had repeatedly reached out to police for protection.
However, according to Michael Ryan, his ex-wife’s allegations of abuse are untrue.
“It’s all about a nasty divorce,” he said.
According to The Canadian Press, Michael Ryan and his girlfriend now have the daughter his ex-wife once sought to protect, and they have not been heard from in some time.
Nicole Ryan on Friday said she hopes to move on with her life and reconnect with her daughter.
She said the girl will turn 13 in March.