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Sensational murder case takes a new turn

Antiques restoration artist Patrick Kelly shows off an antique dining room set at Artspace Friday during a  display and sale of his work.  - Free Press File Photo
Antiques restoration artist Patrick Kelly shows off an antique dining room set at Artspace Friday during a display and sale of his work.
— image credit: Free Press File Photo

Life appeared to be turning around for Patrick Michael Kelly.

For four years the convicted killer and former RCMP officer, ran a thriving antiques business downtown. He was known as a philanthropist who often donated pieces for charity auctions and fundraisers. Kelly, 62, was also often seen enjoying a night out on the town with a number of different women on his arm.

Kelly had served his time in prison, 23 years, for the first degree murder of his wife Jeanette whom prosecutors said fell to her death after being thrown  by Kelly from the 17th floor balcony of the couple’s condo in Toronto.

He was found guilty in 1983. However, Kelly has always maintained his innocence, claiming that his wife’s death was an accident.

Kelly got day parole in 2008 when he moved to Prince George and two years later he was granted full parole. Surprisingly, many people in the community including business acquaintances knew of his past – but chose to ignore it.

Last Tuesday, his parole was revoked at a Parole Board of Canada hearing after he was found to be in violation of a parole condition requiring him to disclose to his parole officer any and all close relationships with women.

Last summer, when the Free Press reporter came by to talk with someone doing construction work on his house in the Fort George Park area, Kelly waved happily and walked into the door with a bouquet of lilies and a bottle of wine.

“Are those for someone special?”

“Yes, they’re for me,” he joked. That was the side of Kelly that many people saw – and liked. Kelly had recently moved into the house (purchased by a female friend) and it was undergoing extensive renovations. Well-known for helping out people down on their luck, Kelly was also a very shrewd businessman when it came to some of his Antiques on Sixth dealings.

He has angered at least two former consignees and customers.

Sarah Bruce was at the Antiques and Collectibles Fair at the PG Roll-A-Dome last spring at a booth to help sell her grandmother Dorine’s antiques. Kelly was in the antiques booth beside her. He wanted to buy two heavily carved oak “throne” chairs which he arranged to pick up from Dorine’s house in Vanderhoof.

“When Mr. Kelly came he took other pieces too,” said Dorine in a telephone interview last summer. “He said I’d get $500 each for the chairs right away – but I haven’t seen any money yet.” Bruce said Tuesday as far as she knows, Kelly has not contacted Dorine with news on whether or not the items have sold nor has he paid her any money.

“His trailer was full of her furniture,” Bruce told the Free Press. “There was two carved armchairs, a neat piece from Italy with a glass front, an old chaise lounge, some nice games tables with tassels on them. Some really nice pieces.”

After months passed with no news from Kelly, was she suspicious?

“It seemed weird,” she said. “If something is not selling after all this time, then I think he should tell her. She’s 81. Old people get taken so often – I really don’t want her worried with this.”

Since Kelly’s arrest in August, three friends of Kelly’s including Rebecca Sinclair, a financial planner, a man with the last name Washington, and Paul Kessler who in October was handing out business cards at the shop, have been hard at work trying to sort out his paperwork and business dealings.

Told by the Free Press people at Antiques on Sixth were working to resolve the problems of returning furniture to its owners or getting them paid, Bruce said that she was relieved and will get a family member to connect with new managers.

With the current lease expired, Antiques on Sixth is now being relocated to 250 Dominion St.

Because furniture from Antiques on Sixth can be found all over the city – some consigned pieces were on sale at businesses while others were on “generous” loan for display purposes. So it’s a tough task to sort things out, round it up and account for it. But that is the plan.

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said she had a “good” business relationship with Kelly.

“Like a lot of other people, I had pieces of his [Kelly’s] in my shop and I made arrangements with Rebecca Sinclair to come and take them. I knew that something was up in August during the PGX because Patrick had talked about having a booth and he was not there. It’s not like him to not show up for promotions and marketing.”

The source said she became suspicious when she was told several different stories about Kelly’s lack of contact.

“I was told he was on holidays, that he was visiting a sick relative, that he was in a monastery – so I had a funny feeling in my stomach that something was wrong.”

However Kelly was always professional, she said, and paid commission promptly on the items sold in her store.

According to a Canadian Press release, Kelly will be eligible to apply for parole again but his new hearing will likely be some time in the future, probably a year from now. In the meantime, Kelly still has his local supporters and friends but he appears to have lost – luckily for them, say sources wary of him – at least two women romantically linked with Kelly, who may also have been left in the dark about his past.

However, one thing that Patrick Michael Kelly has lost for sure is his freedom.

Free Press looking for answers since August

Shortly after his arrest in August, 2012 and following up a tip from a reader, a Free Press reporter contacted the Correctional Service of Canada to find out if Patrick Kelly may have violated his parole conditions.

Kelly, a former RCMP undercover officer, was convicted in 1983 of first degree murder for throwing his wife to her death from the 17th floor balcony of their Toronto waterfront condominium.

On August 29, the Free Press received a letter from David Harty regarding our August 27 media inquiry. Here are answers to some questions we posed:

FP: How does a certain community get chosen when a person is placed back into society after his time in jail has been served?

DH: The choice of a community for an offender to live in after serving time in a federal institution depends on whether the offender has support available in the community, whether a suitable residential facility has accepted them (if applicable), and if appropriate programs and employment are available in that community.

FP: Where does a parole violator go after he has been found guilty of parole violations?

DH: Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) has exclusive jurisdiction and absolute discretion to grant, deny, terminate or revoke parole for inmates in federal, territorial and many provincial institutions, except for cases under the jurisdiction of provincial parole boards. The PBC may also, when applicable, revoke the statutory release of an offender.

FP: Can you tell me the status of Patrick Kelly’s case or direct me to anywhere online or elsewhere where I may get the correction information? Put it this way, can you comment at all on any aspect of what is now happening, or likely to happen, at this juncture, involving Patrick Kelly?

DH: As per the Privacy Act, CSC cannot discuss the specifics of the offender’s case.

Harty, regional communications manager, Correctional Service Canada, Pacific Region also provided various websites where the public can access information including parole and community corrections and community assessments.

 

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