Several prisoners shattered the teeth and broke the leg of Rob Ford’s estranged brother-in-law in a jailhouse beating that was intended to keep him quiet about the Toronto mayor’s abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs, it has been alleged in a lawsuit.
The 2012 jailhouse assault of Scott MacIntyre was orchestrated by Aedan Petros, Mr. MacIntyre has alleged in a statement of claim. Mr. Petros is a 300-pound, violent criminal who played defensive tackle for Mr. Ford when he was the coach of the football team at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.
When Mr. MacIntyre was attacked in the shower on March 22, 2012, at the Toronto West Detention Centre, it came after several weeks of threats from inmates who urged the 46-year-old repeat offender to “do the right thing,” Mr. MacIntyre said separately in an hour-long interview with The Globe and Mail.
“They wanted to know if I was going to do the right thing –– was I going to keep my mouth shut,” Mr. MacIntyre told The Globe. The inmates and Mr. Petros – a 22-year-old who was jailed in connection with an armed robbery and home invasion and has since been sentenced to five years in a federal penitentiary – repeatedly approached Mr. MacIntyre with warnings, such as “there is no use in bringing Rob into this; what’s done behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. … Stuff of that nature,” Mr. MacIntyre said. The statement of claim, filed in Toronto on Wednesday, makes similar allegations about the threats.
An official with the Ministry of Correctional Services, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed to The Globe that Mr. Petros was housed in the same unit of the jail, known as 1B, as Mr. MacIntyre at the time of the assault.
Brent Ross, a ministry spokesman, said an investigation into the beating had been launched, but he declined to release its findings, citing concerns about jail security. Mayor Ford did not respond to a list of questions that was sent to him by e-mail and in a letter. He did, however, speak about The Globe’s inquiries with the Toronto Sun, telling the newspaper that any suggestion that he played a role in the beating is “far fetched” and “way out there.” Mr. Ford’s lawyer and close adviser, Dennis Morris, said the notion that the mayor had advance knowledge of the attack on Mr. MacIntyre was “insanity.”
Mr. Morris said the allegations in the lawsuit are “without fact or foundation.” Mr. Ford has retained Gavin Tighe, a Bay Street litigator, to represent him in the civil suit. Mr. MacIntyre is being represented by Sean Dewart and Tim Gleason, who declined comment.
None of the claims in Mr. MacIntyre’s lawsuit, which lists Mr. Ford, Mr. Petros, another former football coach named Payman Aboodowleh, as well as the Minister of Correctional Services as defendants, have been proven in court.
The lawsuit touches on one of the more enduring mysteries of the scandal that has engulfed Mayor Ford since he became the focus of a sweeping police investigation and admitted to smoking crack cocaine: what was an Ontario provincial court judge referring to in 2012 when he said he inferred that Mr. MacIntyre was beaten in jail because he was “a bother to Mr. Ford?”
Mr. MacIntyre wound up in jail in January, 2012, after police were called to Mayor Ford’s house because of a confrontation between the mayor and Mr. MacIntyre, which culminated with Mr. MacIntyre threatening to kill Mr. Ford. (In his statement of claim, Mr. MacIntyre alleges that the argument stemmed from a debt that was owed to him by his then common-law spouse, Kathy Ford, the mayor’s older sister.) Mr. MacIntyre eventually pleaded guilty to threatening the mayor with death, as well as possession of cocaine and heroin. But when he was sentenced in June, 2012 – several months after the jailhouse attack – the judge presiding over the case, Mr. Justice Paul French, called the attack a case of “so-called jailhouse justice.”
“I infer that it was visited upon Mr. MacIntyre because of his being a bother to Mr. Ford,” Judge French said.
Judge French’s comments were widely reported in the media, though he never elaborated on what led him to this conclusion.