KITCHEN – Sgt. Paul Tranter hit Jamie McFadyen and broke a bone in his face. In March, the Waterloo Regional Police officer was tried for assault with bodily injury.
Three months after the trial began, McFadyen, 46, died of COVID-19 at Grand River Hospital.
McFadyen’s mother, Kathryn Gapic, is upset that no one reached out to tell her family that the trial had begun and is continuing after her son’s death in June.
She learned last year that an officer was charged when she was contacted by the civilian Special Investigations Unit investigating police conduct. But his son did not tell his family about the trial and no one else did either. They are learning it after reading the coverage on The Record.
“We didn’t know anything about this,” Gapic said from the Yukon where he lives. “No one was notified. I don’t even know if (authorities) know that Jamie passed away from COVID in June. ”
If his family knew that a trial was taking place, they would go to court to represent him, he said. “Definitely, someone should have reached out to someone,” he said. “Despite the problems we had with his addiction, his family still loved him.”
McFadyen died on June 30, 2021 after being ill for nearly a month. He was not vaccinated.
“Unfortunately, he had a problem with drugs and alcohol. When he was sober and not using drugs, he was a good guy. You know, he was good with kids. She had a fantastic sense of humor, “said Karen Scott, grandmother of her three children who are between 10 and 20 years old.
Prosecutor Rebecca De Fillipis presented her evidence last March before McFadyen died. She did not call him to testify in court. She refused to say why.
She referred questions about contacting her family to the attorney general’s office. A spokesperson declined to comment “as this matter is before the court.”
Tranter’s defense began presenting evidence before McFadyen died. He did not call him to testify and presented his last evidence in November.
A Kitchener court heard that McFadyen was drunk when he was arrested on March 5, 2020, while walking through the center of downtown King Street. He was taken in handcuffs to a nearby police station where officers declared that he was belligerent and defiant.
The officers removed their handcuffs and a riot ensued. An officer took McFadyen to the ground. Others grabbed him by the legs. Tranter came in from behind a counter to land six blows to his head.
Tranter, 53, has pleaded not guilty to assault, arguing that he acted to defend another officer and restore control. The prosecution maintains that the beatings were unnecessary and unreasonable. It was all caught on a police security video that has been played in court.
The trial resumes on January 21, 2022 for final arguments. It is carried out by a judge without a jury.
McFadyen immigrated to Canada from the UK as a child. He worked as a roofer when he could. His addictions helped separate his family, but he still saw his children.
“Many, many things that she decided to do in her life were tragic and very sad, but she loved, she loved her children. They were very, very important to him, ”said Gapic, his mother.
His family went through his things after his death. They found a notebook he kept when a COVID lockdown prevented him from seeing anyone. “I really miss seeing my kids,” she wrote.
Jeff Outhit is a General Assignment Reporter based in the Waterloo region for The Record. Contact him by email: [email protected]