Rafferty contacted McClintic while she was in jail, trial hears

London, Ont. — The Globe and Mail

Michael Rafferty is transported from the courthouse in the back of police cruiser in London, Ont., on March, 14, 2012. Mr. Rafferty is facing charges in the death of Victoria (Tori) Stafford. (DAVE CHIDLEY/THE CANADIAN PRESS/DAVE CHIDLEY/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Warning: This story contains graphic details

A stream of messages and phone calls went back and forth between Terri-Lynne McClintic and her boyfriend Michael Rafferty after she was jailed for breaching a court order, Mr. Rafferty’s murder trial heard Wednesday.

And Mr. Rafferty visited her behind bars, too, the court also heard.

Story continues below ad

In parsing some of the voluminous cellphone records, OPP Det. Constable Gordon Johnson showed to the jury the extraordinary number of communications that flowed from Mr. Rafferty’s BlackBerry, both before and after eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford was kidnapped outside her Woodstock elementary school on April 8, 2009.

During the six weeks before he was arrested and charged in her murder, on May 19, he dispatched a daily average of 142 communications, chiefly PIN numbers and text messages, the officer told prosecutor Stephanie Venne.

Nor was he any less busy beforehand.

In the nine weeks before Tori was killed, a daily average of 65 phone calls and text messages went out from his BlackBerry, but that total excluded his PIN usage – the semi-secret means by which a confidential message can be sent to a trusted person.

The bulk of those messages were sent to women Mr. Rafferty had befriended via the Internet. And the back-and-forth PIN messages that were his preferred means of contact continued right through much of the day on which he allegedly raped and murdered Tori, and beyond.

On April 8, the chief recipient was a prostitute who was supporting him, a woman named Charity Spitzig.

Also that same day, in the early hours of the morning, he initiated an Internet connection that lasted more than 17 hours. Its purpose was unclear.

One day later, on April 9, the over-all total was 72 PINS, 58 text messages, 4 voice calls and two data calls.

Ms. McClintic was detained on April 12, four days after Tori vanished, while a huge search for the missing child was under way. She was taken to the Genest Youth Detention Centre in London, and almost immediately Mr. Rafferty made contact.

On April 27, he was given approval to visit her there.

This afternoon the trial expects to hear from staff at Genest regarding the visits he paid.

Mr. Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, abduction and sexual assault causing bodily harm in Tori’s death. Her body was found in a patch of woods 110 kilometres away, more than three months after she vanished..

Two years ago, Ms. McClintic, now 21, confessed to murdering Tori and is serving a life term at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener.

A few weeks before Mr. Rafferty’s trial began in March, Ms. McClintic altered her account of events in one key regard.

She reaffirmed that Mr. Rafferty drove the trio to the crime scene, raped Tori there and helped hide the body.

But now she contends that it was she who wielded the murder weapon – a claw-head hammer she bought in Guelph an hour or so after the kidnapping.