And the victim would be… fairness

In the third last paragraph of his 2010 decision finding Nicole Ryan not guilty of hiring a hit man to kill her abusive husband, Justice David Farrar notes he was “struck” by the fact the husband “did not take the stand to give evidence with respect to any of the assertions that were made against him.”

During the trial, Michael Ryan had been accused of putting a gun to his wife’s head, threatening to torch their home with his wife and daughter inside and keeping his wife isolated from family and friends.

Why didn’t he testify?


Michael Ryan insists he was willing. He received a subpoena 10 months before the trial, contacted the Crown weeks before and even showed up for the first day of Nicole’s trial. “I left my cell phone number with the Crown and waited out in the parking lot in my car for the remainder of the trial,” he emailed me backed in 2010. He was never called, never allowed to challenge his wife’s claims of horrific abuse.

There are all sorts of reasons the Crown might have decided not to call him—including the possibility they didn’t believe him—but the reality is the court based its conclusions about him largely on Nicole Ryan’s testimony and that of her supporters.

Their evidence has now solidified into fact.

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada—still without hearing Ryan—declared him “violent, abusive and controlling.” Though the judges dismissed Nicole Ryan’s courtroom defence of duress, they ruled she had suffered enough and ordered the charges against her stayed.

After the trial judge’s original damning decision back in 2010, I wrote a column for Metro, questioning what I then saw as the RCMP’s failure to help an abused woman escape while using a sting operation to entrap her.

In it, I described Michael Ryan as “a nasty piece of business.”

Ryan responded and we began an online correspondence, which you can read here. 

I confess I don’t know whether to believe Michael Ryan’s counter-claims—could they simply be more evidence of his “manipulative behaviour”?—but I am troubled by the fact the Crown never called him to testify. And the reality that so many judges have reached conclusions about him without ever hearing from the man who was, after all, the intended victim.

  1. @Pete Smith

    ” the mother was the sole caregiver at the time of the custody hearing, and in most cases this wasn’t challenged by the father. ”

    Nonsense. Most women are in the workforce and, logically, cannot be the sole care giver unless they are a single mother.

    The court’s bias is clear based on the statistics alone. Even if dad challenges the decision in the court order he will still lose in more cases than he wins, and have spent upwards of $30,000, sometimes more.

    Most men will not pursue it simply because they cannot afford the legal costs in addition to child support and often spousal support.

    DV in Canada is pretty much equal yet there are over 550 women’s only shelters in Canada and not one tax supported for men and their children.

    “A similar proportion of men and women reported experiencing spousal violence during the five years prior to the survey. Among men, 6.0% or about 585,000, encountered spousal violence during this period, compared with 6.4% or 601,000 women.

    The Daily summary:

    This shelter Industry, and its corresponding, political, legal, and academic arms is a billion dollar enterprise in Canada relying on the sympathy of politicians and corporate donors. Academics gain from the many grants available to produce one sided studies reinforcing the notion only women are victims. The feminists then use the studies to seek more money.

    It is in the best interest of the feminist movement in Canada to ensure women are always made out to be victims to keep the money flowing.

    “That may be true, but it hasn’t been proven. So there is another explanation for why he has custody.”

    Of course it was proven in Family Court before a judge, with a psychologist’s report to back it up. A dad in Canada seldom ever gets sole physical custody and the fact he has that custody, based on the normal bias favouring moms, is more evidence that he is a stable loving father.


  2. Justice has not been served. The truth will eventually be heard and faith in our justice system will be lost. Mike, thank you for never losing your beautiful smile, even through all the hardship. I love you.


  3. That’s not quite accurate. Mr. Ryan was given custody after the arrest and was not challenged by Nicole Ryan. Since he says he has no arrest record and since she had just been arrested on attempted murder charges, then that weighs into it. He claims his custody was due to a psychologist’s determination which ‘was not in her favour’. That may be true, but it hasn’t been proven. So there is another explanation for why he has custody.

    It’s also misleading to state statistics like that. While its true that overwhelmingly it is the mothers who get custody, the justice department recently did a study showing that in the overwhelming number of cases, the mother was the sole caregiver at the time of the custody hearing, and in most cases this wasn’t challenged by the father.

    I don’t agree with the comment above, it frankly makes no sense to try to control somebody by sitting in a parking lot, but its horrible to talk about a ‘shelter industry’ as though domestic violence in this country was part of our economic engine.

    Again, we know the woman was ‘mentally disturbed’, any violent activity is mentally disturbed. The question is whether the husband did that to her. I don’t know the answer to that, just wanted to point out the mistaken assumption above.


  4. Mr. Ryan’s case parallels many others, particularly as it involves Family Law. Any man who has gone through Canada’s Family Law system, where court orders give mom 90% sole custody, will know they have a certain bias. What is missed by those unfamiliar with that bias is they gave him sole physical custody. That only happens in about 6% of cases.

    That, in and of itself, is a massive vote of confidence in his abilities and deportment.

    I have found the Women’s Shelter industry to be mendacious as well as controlling of women they take under their wing, and offer tactical advice. They then make her sign a non-disclosure agreement. Some of this advice involves abuse allegations whether true or false. It is used in order to ensure a better chance of custody. One can see from the Judge’s remarks about Mr. Ryan how effective these allegations can be.

    A quote by Marie from above: “Why else would he sit outside a court room all week except to continue control…”

    This is a typical comment from someone in the shelter industry who cannot see there are two sides to every story. She loses site of the fact Mr. Ryan was the target of a killing by his ex through proxy. She cannot see a vile, vindictive, emotionally detached, possibly mentally disturbed women who hath no fury like a woman scorned.


  5. “Why else would he sit outside a court room all week…”

    Perhaps he had an interest in those attempts to murder him.


  6. I think Mr. Ryan is exactly as the ex- wife said in court.
    Controlling and obsessive. Why else would he sit outside a court room all week except to continue control until the last minute after he lost it when she committed the crime.
    It has been a few years and the kind of info he is posting on his wife says a lot more about him than her.He is still trying to “destroy” her as he told her he would.


  7. […] by Stephen Kimber on January 21, 2013 | 2 Comments […]


  8. There doesn’t appear to be audio with the video.


  9. Michael has posted a video to YouTube responding to the Supreme Court’s decision. Check it out at the link below.


  10. Finally! Mr. Kimber, you have published a story that other reporters should learn a lesson from. People look at the media for the real news of what’s going on today and sadly people are miss guided by the “fake” storys thats told like a roumor that has been passed around 20 times by a 5 yr old. The bashing trend by the media in other story’s including the Ryan’s story has lost my faith in the yarns they spin out of control. I gain a whole new respect for you and this article Mr. Kimber. Mr. Ryan is a well respected man with a very happy family and well rounded morals that other parents can learn from to better themselves at.


  11. Good Day Mr Kimber,

    Your article today is far more realistic than the previous article you posted right after the trial, and I thank you for your fairness in this.

    It has been a long and difficult struggle in my attempt to get my side of the story out. You may be right, maybe the crown didn’t believe me…. the only problem with that, I never met or spoke to the crown until the first day of the trial. As well, I was never interviewed by the RCMP or anyone in regards to the allegations that she stated in her testimony. A good reason for that was because she had never reported or stated these allegations anywhere else. And that is the problem with this case, there is no evidence to support her defence. Her supporting witnesses did not provide evidence, but only repeated what Nicole had told them. And again, it was only information that was very recent, and it was all lies. After hearing Nicole’s testimony I immediately informed the RCMP that I have evidence that will prove every witness for Nicole committed purgery.
    I have no criminal record, I have never been questioned in regards to Nicole Ryan’s allegations, despite my ongoing plea for someone to talk to me and hear my response to these serious allegations of abuse, considering they involve a young child. And the lawyers involved… well it is sad that we have officers of our court system that have the evidence in front of them and still turn a blind eye to “beyond a reasonable doubt” and “ought to have known”. I will continue my struggle to get my story out, not just for me, but for the RCMP officers that were in my face for so many years and quite possibly saved my life.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *