Appeal court says no alleged trial errors raised by Rafferty occurred
Michael Rafferty leaves the courthouse in Woodstock, Ont., on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011. (Dave Chidley / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Ontario's top court has released its reasons for dismissing an appeal from the man who killed eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, ruling that the trial judge's handling of the case was "exemplary."
Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in the 2009 death of the Woodstock, Ont., girl.
Rafferty's accomplice, Terri-Lynne McClintic, pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder.
McClintic was the key witness at Rafferty's trial, telling a horrifying story of a drug-addled couple abducting a young girl at random for the man's sexual pleasure, then killing her with inconceivable brutality.
Rafferty's lawyer had argued the judge who presided over his trial made several errors, including failing to warn the jury against relying on the McClintic's testimony, but the Court of Appeal for Ontario found none of those errors were made.
The Appeal Court had orally dismissed Rafferty's appeal when it was argued in Toronto last month, but said it would issue written reasons for its dismissal later.