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Canada  

Held captive, took baby

A Toronto man accused of keeping a homeless couple captive and forcing them to give up their baby so he could raise it as his own is expected to learn his fate today.

Gary Willett has pleaded not guilty to assault, abduction, forcible confinement, failing to provide the necessaries of life and theft in a series of events that began more than 20 years ago.

His wife, Maria Willett, has also pleaded not guilty to similar charges but will be tried separately.

At a hearing today, an Ontario judge is expected to rule on the case, which revolves around the relationship between the Willetts and Tim Goldrick and Barbara Bennett, a couple they took under their wing in the 1980s.

The Crown alleges the Willetts became abusive towards the pair, keeping them captive, taking their disability cheques and their first-born son, who grew up thinking the Willetts were his biological parents.

Court heard Bennett eventually left the home, but Goldrick remained until 2012, when his now-grown son and two others took him from the family home.

Defence lawyer Sam Goldstein, meanwhile, alleges the Willetts' children, including Goldrick and Bennett's biological child, are in collusion and have influenced the couple.

He has said Bennett agreed to let the Willetts take her baby and later changed her story because it was easier than admitting she had given up her child.



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