Traffic Act charges date back to November 2019 death of pedestrian

A former Pelham resident was in court on December 15 to answer to charges dating back over two years.

Michael Bond, 56, appeared in virtual court via telephone before Justice of the Peace Nancy Rogers-Bain in Welland. Crown prosecutor Marie Strub and Assistant Crown Attorney Andrew Brown were also in attendance.

Bond was behind the wheel when he allegedly struck and killed a 66-year-old Ridgeville woman walking along Effingham Street on November 30, 2019, and is charged under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act with careless driving causing death, driving while under suspension, driving with no valid vehicle license, and operating an unsafe vehicle.

Toronto-based lawyer Lawrence Ben-Eliezer had been representing Bond, but previously requested that he be removed as counsel of record for undisclosed reasons. Abdullah Basurto of Toronto represented Bond in court on behalf of defence lawyer Paul Genua, who only recently agreed to defend Bond for careless driving causing death, the most serious of the three charges.

Bond plans to represent himself in court on two other related charges. He continues to live on the streets of Toronto and in homeless shelters.

Brown voiced concern regarding the delays in bringing the case to trial, especially given that one of the charges involved a fatality. He told the court previously that he plans to call five civilian witnesses, and seven or eight police witnesses, along with an expert, and anticipated at least three full days for a trial.

“The Crown has tremendous concerns about this case for a number of reasons,” said Brown. “We really have been struggling to move the matter forward. I think it’s in the interests of all parties that we target trial dates as soon as possible. I hope I’m not sounding too frustrated with the process, but it’s not only Mr. Bond who has an interest in having these matters completed, but also the family of the of the victim as well.”

Justice Rogers-Bain agreed with Brown’s sentiments, and set a judicial pre-trial for the earliest date possible, being March 9 at 10:15 AM.

“Covid delays have been a frustration to all of us, that’s for sure,” commented the justice.

Bond acknowledged that he has received all disclosure documents, and will contact the court again on March 30 at 9 AM to address the outstanding two charges for which he intends to self-represent.