Kijiji lawyer case heading to trial: Crown

Justin Zamperin. Facebook

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A Toronto man who Stratford police say tried to represent another suspect in court – despite having several outstanding arrest warrants scattered throughout the province – is heading to trial.

Assistant Crown attorney Elizabeth Wilson told a judge there has been discussions between fellow Crown attorney Nicole Redgate and Justin Zamperin’s defence lawyer, Katie Heathcote.

“The matter is proceeding to a trial, your honour,” Wilson said.

Through duty counsel Raymond Warman, Heathcote tried to pick a trial date, but there were too many questions – such as time estimates and potential Charter of Rights issues – to be answered, Justice Kathryn McKerlie said. Instead she adjourned the case to next Monday, when a co-accused is scheduled to return to Stratford court.

The judge added it would be helpful if Zamperin’s London lawyer was there in person instead of sending instructions through duty counsel.

“I really think it’s appropriate for your counsel to be here to provide some instructions,” McKerlie said to Zamperin as he stood handcuffed in the prisoner’s box.

The 37-year-old chef, who is being held in the Stratford jail, is facing more than 30 charges. Co-accused David Crowe, 38, is currently in a Toronto jail. More than 20 charges have been laid against him.

None of the charges laid against either man have been tested in court.

Stratford police said a Toronto man appeared in court on June 25 on behalf of Crowe, who was facing multiple harassment charges. Police said the man gave a fake name when he introduced himself and told the court Crowe hired him through Kijiji for $200.

But the court rejected the man’s attempt to be Crowe’s representative and instead issued a warrant for Crowe’s arrest. Officers followed the Toronto man as he left the courthouse and saw him stop to pick up a male passenger. Police said the passenger was Crowe, who they arrested after the vehicle stopped just outside the city.

The driver gave officers a different name than the one he used in court, police said. While taking him back to headquarters, the driver began showing signs of impairment, police said. He was arrested and a drug test showed he had a stimulant and a narcotic analgesic in his system, police said.

Police said they found five grams of meth, one gram of fentanyl, a knife and several pieces of fake ID in the vehicle. Police said they learned the driver’s real name through a database and found arrest warrants for him in Toronto, York Region and Niagara Falls.

Stratford police initially laid 20 charges against Zamperin. The number of charges increased a few weeks later.

Crowe recently had criminal harassment, making harassing phone calls, and failing to comply with probation charges stayed in Perth County, but similar charges involving the same complainant are continuing in Toronto.

tbridge@postmedia.com

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