MAN RETURNS TO COURT TODAY TO CLEAR HIS NAME FOR KILLING HIS WIFE 45 YEARS AFTER HIS ARREST AND CONVICTION FOR IT
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TORONTO: The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) is pleased to announce that at 10:30 this morning, Monday, June 22, 2015, John Salmon will appear before three Judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal. He will be asking that his conviction for manslaughter in the 1970 death of Maxine Ditchfield should be quashed as a result of new medical evidence.
Mr. Salmon wants an acquittal. As the Crown has written to the Court of Appeal, “the new medical evidence removes any basis to suggest that Mr. Salmon was responsible for Maxine’s death.” The Crown is, therefore, also urging the court to acquit Mr. Salmon.
On Monday, September 21, 1970, Mr. Salmon’s common-law wife, Maxine Ditchfield, had fallen severely ill at their home in Woodstock, Ontario. Mr. Salmon called a doctor to the house who immediately arranged for an ambulance to take her to the Woodstock General Hospital. She died the next morning in hospital.
A local pathologist, Dr. Michael Dietrich, conducted an autopsy and concluded that she had died as a result of a severe beating. If this were so, Mr. Salmon was the only possible culprit.
Mr. Salmon was charged by the Woodstock police with non-capital murder on the same day that Ms. Ditchfield died. On November 5, 1971, after a trial before Mr. Justice Wright and a jury in Woodstock, Mr. Salmon was convicted of manslaughter. The jury found that he killed his wife by viciously beating her while in a drunken rage. He was sentenced to 10 years in the penitentiary.
Mr. Salmon’s appeal to the Ontario Court [...]