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Ex to stay on stand as cop's trial resumes next year

The trial adjourned early Wednesday afternoon after the defence lawyer provided the court with information he had just received.
The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this Village Media file photo.

SAULT STE. MARIE - After six and a half days of testimony from the Crown's key witness, the trial of an Elliot Lake Ontario Provincial Police officer on a myriad of charges, including assault and the theft of tens of thousands of dollars, has been adjourned.

Glenn Mclean, who has pleaded not guilty to 26 charges, is slated to return to court March 21 for a two-week continuation of his judge-alone trial.

Since the trial began on Oct. 13, Superior Court Justice Michael Varpio has heard from a single prosecution witness - the officer's former girlfriend Karen Querat.

At the beginning of the trial, Timmins assistant Crown attorney Wayne O'Hanley, who is prosecuting the case, told the court he expected to call six witnesses and complete the Crown's case by the end of the week.

However, Querat has been the only witness in the box, undergoing four and a half days of vigorous cross-examination by defence counsel Bruce Willson, after two days of giving her evidence in chief.

Last Friday, when it became evident that the trial wouldn't be completed in the scheduled nine days, Varpio suggested the court look for further dates in the new year.

Willson indicated that he wasn't available in January, and two further weeks, beginning March 21, were set aside.

The trial adjourned early Wednesday afternoon after Willson provided the court with some information he had just received.

He will continue his cross-examination of Querat, 39, when the hearing resumes in five months.

McLean is facing counts, including stealing a breathalyzer machine and gasoline from the OPP, frauds and thefts from the Anishnabie Naadmaagi Gamig Substance Abuse Treatment Centre in Blind River, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, assault causing bodily harm, threatening, pointing a firearm, and numerous charges of assault stemming from his relationship with Querat.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between December 2011 and November 2013.

McLean is suspended from his job with pay.

Querat, a former bookkeeper at the treatment centre, testified that she and McLean used funds stolen from her employer to pay for vacations to Las Vegas and Jamaica, shopping trips to Toronto and the United States, a car, an off-road vehicle, firearms including two pink cammo shot guns, kayaks, golf clubs and sporting equipment.

She told Varpio she stole $20,000 from the centre by writing herself extra pay cheques between August 2012 and January 2013, prior to meeting Mclean on Jan. 29, 2013.

Querat pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 in Elliot Lake in August, 2014, and received a conditional sentence of two years less a day, which is being served in the community.

Querat acknowledged that she took $130,000 from her employer and was ordered to pay $117,000 restitution.

The $130,000 included the amount she admitted stealing before she met McLean.

During her testimony at his trial, Querat also detailed numerous incidents of abuse she said she suffered during her relationship with the officer.

About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 35 years.
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