OPP officer, convicted arsonist, sentenced to five years

These are violations by the Ontario Provincial Police officers dealing with the Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Substance and Abuse Act, Customs and Excise Act, etc.

OPP officer, convicted arsonist, sentenced to five years

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:37 am

Timmins OPP officer on trial for attempted murder

Accusing a police officer of committing arson and attempted murder was a desperate attempt to deflect blame over an accidental fire, suggests the defence lawyer for Cecile Fournel.

"On the night of the fire, Chantal Boudreau believed she was being blamed" and that it would be used against her in a child custody hearing, Seth Weinstein told Timmins Superior Court Friday.

"She was in damage control ... Who better to shift the blame than the person she was with that night?"

Weinstein is representing Fournel, a South Porcupine Ontario Provincial Police officer charged with attempted murder, arson and administering a noxious substance. The allegations stem from a house fire on Kellyann Dr. in Timmins on Feb. 25, 2009.

The trial concluded Friday with Weinstein providing the defence's summation of the evidence.

Fournel is accused of drugging and then trying to kill her daughter-in-law by starting a fire in a bedroom closet while Boudreau was incapacitated.

However, Weinstein suggested the sleeping medication detected in Boudreau's system through a toxicology test may have been a "product of her own voluntary consumption."

Citing testimony from previous hearings, Weinstein said she has a history of mixing drugs and alcohol.

He noted three different brands of sleeping capsules found in Boudreau's house.

She said she had used them in her college days.

However, Weinstein said the number of pills present in the home suggest regular and more recent use.

The toxicology tests, from a urine sample provided two days after the fire, found the presence of the active ingredients in sleeping aids in her system.

Weinstein said all the test proved was that she ingested the drugs anywhere between one hour to four days prior to providing the urine sample.

"That is a massive window of opportunity for the substance to get into her system," he said.

Weinstein suggested the "lynch pin" in the prosecution's case is the video footage obtained from a Timmins drug store showing Fournel purchasing sleeping aid capsules less than an hour before meeting with the daughter-in-law who she is accused of trying to kill.

Weinstein dismissed the importance of that footage, saying, "There is no evidence who she bought that Nytol for."

Weinstein spent much of Friday attacking the credibility and reliability of several of the Crown's key witnesses.

He highlighted what he felt were "fundamental inconsistencies" in the testimony of both Boudreau and Detective Const. Dave Martin.

Weinstein suggested the two key witnesses conspired against Fournel, and that there was professional and personal animosity that already existed between the accused Fournel and the investigating officer Martin.

Martin was the officer who found the Nytol capsules in the police cruiser which Fournel had been driving the night of the fire.

However, during the course of his testimony, Martin could not recall why he was searching the vehicle in the first place.

Weinstein said Martin's "shocking inability to explain why he decided to search the car is troubling"

It was a "watershed moment," he said.

"Why is this moment a complete and utter blank?"

Weinstein said it leads one to question whether Martin even went to the car or found the pills in the vehicle.

Weinstein challenges the prosecution's position that Boudreau was "incapacitated."

"You would expect someone who woke up after an alcohol and drug-induced sleep to be in a bit of a fog."

However, he said she had the dexterity to run up and down stairs and get a bucket of water to try to put out the fire.

He said she had no difficulty calling 911 or communicating with the dispatcher.

"You heard the tape, she is not slurring her words," Weinstein said.

None of the firefighters or neighbours on scene made observations of her being impaired or disoriented.

"The evidence does not support the assertion that Ms. Boudreau was incapacitated prior to the fire," said Weinstein.

Boudreau also testified that Fournel arrived on the scene and ordered her, "using strong language," to get into her car.

Weinstein said nobody at scene recalls seeing that.

In fact one neighbour testified when Fournel arrived on the scene she immediately gave Boudreau a hug.

Weinstein spoke at length and raised questions about the missing bed sheets and comforter.

"Why are they gone without a trace? It's the elephant in the room."

Weinstein said it raises the questions about the possibility the fire started on the bed and worked its way towards the closet.

He suggested if Boudreau started the fire by smoking in bed, the sheets may have been consumed by the fire.

Doug Horn, an Ontario Fire Marshal Office investigator, had offered his opinion during the trial that the fire started in the closet.

Weinstein in his closing statements, suggested Horn was premature in not considering the possibility that the fire started on the bed.

However, Crown attorney Marc Huneault noted the pillows were also missing and suggested the defence was "attempting to put forward an alternative theory, not supported by Horn, without calling the evidence."

Huneault also responded to Weinstein's assertion that Fournel would not have had enough time to spike Boudreau's drink while pouring it at the counter.

Huneault said there would have been ample opportunity, noting that Fournel had brought in the wine glasses from outside and Boudreau had her back to Fournel during a phone call.

Judge Patricia Hennessy said she would require time to review the evidence and reserved judgement on the case.

Based on the lawyer's schedules, the earliest a verdict may be handed down is December.

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OPP officer, convicted arsonist, sentenced to five years

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:40 am

OPP officer, convicted arsonist, sentenced to five years in prison

An OPP officer from Timmins is going to prison for five years for giving booze and drugs to her estranged daughter-in-law and then setting the daughter-in-law's house on fire.

Cecile Fournel, 55, a woman described as having an exemplary police career, was sentenced today by Judge Patricia Hennessy in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Timmins.

Judge Hennessy explained the sentence was three years for the crime of arson and two years following that for the crime of administering a noxious substance. The judge outlined that she took in all the nuances of the legal arguments from the crown and defence lawyers and felt the sentence was fair.

Hennessy, who found Fournel guilty during a trial held in Timmins in January, said Fournel's actions were "a serious violation of the relationship of trust and love" that had once existed between Fournel and daughter-in-law Chantal Boudreau. It was also during that trial that Fournel was acquitted on a charge of attempted murder in relation to the same case.

In a statement of facts she read to the court, Hennessy reviewed the case that stemmed from a fire that occurred in February of 2009 at a home on Kellyann Drive.

It was revealed that Fournel was upset that Boudreau and the father of her two children were involved in a child custody battle. Fournel is the mother of Boudreau's ex-common law partner. Boudreau had intentions of moving out of town to pursue higher education. As a grandmother, the judge said Fournel was unhappy with the possible loss of access to her grandchildren and had no respect for the rules of Family Law in Ontario.

In what the judge said was planned behavior, Fournel went to Boudreau's home on February 25th, 2009 and convinced Boudreau to join her for some alcoholic drinks so the two women could discuss the family issues in a seemingly relaxed and friendly manner. According to the court, Fournel said "We need to talk this out. Let's get drunk and talk this out."

Boudreau agreed with this and the women went to the rec room to drink wine and Smirnoff coolers. At one point, the court determined, Fournel went to the kitchen and administered a noxious substance, consisting of over-the-counter cold medication, to Boudreau's drink.

Eventually Boudreau became visibly impaired and sleepy. Her mother in law urged to go to bed, took Boudreau to her bedroom and tucked her in. At some point later in the evening, Boudreau was awakened by a crackling sound to find a fire in her bedroom.

She ran out of the house and called for help.

Judge Hennessy said the obvious motive for the fire was an attempt by Fournel to injure and discredit Boudreau as being unsafe person in the hopes this would have a negative impact on Boudreau's custody battle.

Hennessy was not kind in her assessment of Fournel's actions.

"She turned her back on a person she professed to love," said the Judge.

"She behaved as if she were in a lawless world," the judge added, accusing of Fournel of conducting herself above the rule of law.

In explaining the reasons for her sentence, Judge Hennessy said deterrence was a factor as was the fact that Fournel was an officer of the law.

Fournel was a leading member of the OPP Crime Unit and had outstanding performance evaluations as a Detective Constable.

"These acts undermine the public confidence in the police," said the judge. "What Fournel has done is completely out of step with this community's values."

After the sentencing, which occurred at 4:00 p.m., Chantal Boudreau spoke briefly with reporters and said she was still processing the news and the sentence. Boudreau, who appeared teary eyed and looking shaken from the day-long process in court, said of the five-year sentence "I will believe it when I see it is actually happening."

Boudreau had been emotional in court earlier in the day as she read a victim impact statement. She said the three-year ordeal of the fire, the arrest, the trial and the ongoing custody battle had left her a nervous wreck.

She has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Boudreau told the court she has a heightened sense of vigilance for her and her childrens' safety and she feels like she and her children have been living in prison for the last three years. She was especially upset that her mother-in-law still, Fournel, still had access to the children.

Boudreau told the court the fire has left her constantly afraid for her safety.

"I am no longer the person I used to be," she said, choking back sobs.

At the end of the day, Boudreau said the entire ordeal has been hard.

"It's been very difficult. All I want is to be happy..and provide for my children. And have a life," said Boudreau.

Fournel was taken away from the Spruce Street courthouse by two Timmins Police Service officers. Along with the five year prison sentence, Fournel will also face ten years of probation once she is released. It is also anticipated that she will lose her job as an OPP as a Detective-Constable with the Ontario Provincial Police.

http://www.timminstimes.com/2012/04/04/ ... -in-prison
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Re: Timmins OPP officer on trial for attempted murder

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:42 am

Rogue Ontario Provincial Police detective Const. Cecile Fournel has been charged with several criminal offenses including arson. Some out of the box thinking Judge has decided that even though Fournel drugged her victim to unconsciousness, placed her in bed then set the house on fire is not guilty of attempted murder. The judge reasoned Fournel was just trying to make the victim look bad in the eyes of family services. I want this Judge if ever I am in serious trouble or maybe the Judge who gave local CHILD PORN STAR lawyer Brad Sloan house arrest instead of incarceration for having and distributing thousands of CHILD PORN images found on his work computer.

Fournel has yet to be sentenced for her crime and is still on the loose. It has been reported that she is still receiving full pay and is using her FREE time to arrange her personal affairs including meeting mandatory employment requirements for her OPP pension. From what has been said Fournel's sentencing has been delayed so that she can arrange matters to allow for her pension when she gets out.

Even some of the police themselves cannot believe that this women beat the attempt murder charge. From the evidence presented in court against Fournal it appears the police did their best to have the Crown convict Fournel.

This case does not appear to be a police cover up but certainly appears to be a case of special consideration on the Judges part because she was / is a cop. If someone buys sleeping medication, drugs you until you are unconscious, places you in bed, sets your house on fire and leaves I am pretty sure they are trying to kill you. I am very sure most people including the police who laid the charge of attempt murder would agree.

I think that the police should be commended on their effort to bring justice to the Fournel case and the matter concerning local CHILD PORN lawyer Brad Sloan, the judges in these cases however, is a different matter.

Unless you were a full time attendant at either or both of these trials you would not have all the information so my conclusions are drawn from what I have read, heard and seen in the local media.

It certainly appears that in both these cases and many more like them throughout the country it pays to have a close association with the legal system when your ass is in a sling.

This blatant disregard for fair justice is an insult to any professional law enforcement officer and citizen of this country who tread the straight and narrow.

If the government and the legal system want respect from the average JOE then maybe they should show a little respect themselves.

Paying a convicted criminal for 3 or 4 years full salary, and if her sentencing is delayed so she can get her pension in order is just plain BULLSHIT!

Both Fornel and Sloan should be in jail ...... that's where I would be if I did the crime.

Crime does not pay ..... unless you are part of the system!!!!!

http://www.timminsexposed.com/forum/ind ... topic=26.0
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Former OPP officer serving time

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:44 am

Former OPP Officer Cecile Fournel has had her appeal turned down.

In a unanimous decision the Ontario Court Of Appeal found no reason to overturn the 2012 convictions of arson and administering a noxious substance.

The Appeal Court also denied Fournel’s appeal of her five year sentence.

The charges relate to a fire at Fournel’s then daughter in law, Chantal Boudreau’s home on Kelly Ann Drive in February of 2009.

http://www.kisstimmins.com/2014/04/22/f ... omment-559
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OPP Const. Cecile Fournel granted designation by court

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:47 am

A designation has been filed for a local OPP constable who has been charged with attempted murder.

Ontario Provincial Police detective Const. Cecile Fournel, 52, had a designation filed that allows for a lawyer to show up in her place.

With the designation granted, she was not present in Timmins Provincial Court on Tuesday for her scheduled first appearance.

Her charges stem from a residential fire on Kellyann Drive on Feb. 25 at roughly 9 a.m.

One female occupant of the home managed to escape unharmed. According to the Timmins Fire Department, there was extensive damage to the residence.

Fournel was arrested and charged on March 13 following a joint investigation between the Timmins Police Service and the OPP.

A press release from police explained that Fournel and the female resident knew each other outside of her capacity and duties as a police officer.

Fournel was assigned to the Northeast Region crime unit and since has been suspended from duty.

Judge Martin Lambert allowed for a four-week adjournment until April 28 in order for the defence to await a disclosure from the Crown.

Two weeks ago, Fournel was released on bail. Justice Michael Moreau from North Bay allowed bail with recognizance and with four sureties.

The 10-year OPP veteran has been reporting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5 p.m. since March 18 to Timmins police.

She also must not possess firearms, consume alcohol and had to relinquish her passport and always be with a surety when away from her residence.

Fournel is to have no communication with the alleged victim.

http://www.timminspress.com/2009/04/01/ ... n-by-court
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Arsonist cop cleared of attempted murder

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:49 am

TIMMINS, Ont. – A Timmins, Ont., police officer has been found guilty of drugging her former daughter-in-law and then starting a fire in a bedroom closet while the victim lay unconscious on a bed nearby.

The Crown failed to prove to the judge’s satisfaction, however, that this was an attempt to commit murder.

Ontario Provincial Police officer Cecile Fournel was convicted Wednesday of arson and administering a noxious substance, and acquitted on a charge of attempted murder.

Judge Patricia Hennessy said Fournel was “motivated by passion” and her “anticipated loss of seeing her grandchildren.”

At the time, Fournel’s son, Evan Palaszewski, was engaged in a custody battle with his estranged spouse, Chantal Boudreau.

Boudreau was talking about moving out of town.

Hennessy said it was clear Fournel was not merely an observer in the couple’s custody battle. Instead, she was an active participant and viewed herself to be one of the affected parties.

In late February 2009, in the midst of this family conflict, Fournel dropped by Boudreau’s home on with a backpack containing a couple of bottles of wine and some vodka coolers.

Fournel’s expressed intent was to discuss custody issues and discourage Boudreau from leaving town.

After a little more than two drinks, Boudreau became extremely drowsy, felt weak in the knees and had to be assisted to her bed.

She fell asleep and woke up later to the sound of crackling wood and heat from a fire in her closet.

The judge said Fournel was the only person who could have put lit candles in the bedroom closet to start a fire.

The defence argued the fire could have also been started by Boudreau smoking in bed, but the judge cited testimony from fire investigators who concluded the blaze was started when clothes hanging in the closet caught fire from an open flame.

Boudreau managed to escape from the house uninjured.

A key piece of the Crown’s evidence was in-store video footage of Fournel purchasing sleeping medication at a Timmins drug store about 40 minutes before she visited Boudreau.

While acknowledging the potentially fatal consequences of the fire, Hennessy was not convinced Fournel’s intention was to murder Boudreau.

If she wanted Boudreau dead, Fournel “could have taken steps that were more likely than a closet fire” to kill her victim, the judge said.

Hennessy suggested Fournel may have wanted to merely “undermine” Boudreau’s custody battle if it appeared she had passed out drunk while smoking in bed or leaving a lit candle in her bedroom.

Throughout the course of the trial, Fournel remained a member of the OPP, suspended with pay. Her conviction will bring an end to that.

She has “lost her career” as a police officer and is “looking at a significant period of separation from her family,” said her lawyer, Seth Weinstein.

Fournel is under house arrest until her sentencing. She is prohibited from having any contact with Boudreau.

Crown Attorney Marc Huneault said he will be asking the court to sentence Fournel to a “significant amount of incarceration.”

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2012/ ... 63966.html
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Judge denies Fournel appeal

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:50 am

TIMMINS - Cecile Fournel will continue to serve five years for drugging her daughter-in-law and leaving her unconscious in a burning bedroom — a fire that she started.

An Ontario Court of Appeal judge denied Fournel's appeal request on Tuesday.

Fournel was found guilty of arson and administrating a noxious substance in April 2012. She received three years for the arson and two years for the administration of a noxious substance, which would be served consecutively.

Fournel, who had been a detective with the South Porcupine OPP detachment, argued that the trial judge erred and serving both sentences consecutively was excessive.

The appeal judge disagreed and dismissed the appeal.

The news came as a relief for Lise Boudreau and her daughter Chantal. She said her daughter continues to deal with what she went through five years ago.

“We're hoping this is the end of this court battle,” she told the Daily Press. “It has been a long five years for us. It has been a tough go. My daughter is a survivor. She's here today to be able to tell her story. She has gone through a lot but now she can finally move forward and hopefully rebuild her life.”

According to court records, Fournel had dropped by Chantal's home in the midst of a custody battle in February 2009. The two women began to drink and talk about Chantal making up with Fournel's son and her not leaving town.

The court heard that only after a few drinks, Chantal became drowsy and needed help to get into bed. She testified that she awoke to the sound of crackling wood and heat from a fire in her closet. She managed to get out of the house without any injury.

The judge concluded that only Fournel could have put the lit candles in the bedroom closet.

A toxicology report also revealed the presence of diphenhydramine, temazepam and oxazepam in Chantal's sample. Sleeping aids like Nytol contain diphenhydramine while temazepam is a prescribed sleeping aid and oxazepam can cause drowsiness.

Police discovered that Fournel had purchased Nytol before going to Chantal's home.

http://www.timminspress.com/2014/04/22/ ... nel-appeal
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Firebug cop will have opportunity to argue case

Postby Thomas » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:35 pm

Fournel is attempting to block a Montreal-based film production company from accessing court documents, photos and video exhibits that were presented during her trial. The film company wants access to the exhibits for a true crime documentary TV series that airs in Quebec.

TIMMINS - Producers of a true-crime TV series are only requesting photos and nothing that would reveal the identity of Cecile Fournel’s grandchildren, according to a Timmins lawyer who is representing the company.

Fournel, the former provincial police officer who was convicted of drugging her daughter-in-law and then setting fire to the victim’s home in 2009, is attempting to block the film company from accessing exhibits from the trial because she says it would potentially identify her young grandchildren.

However, lawyer Ted Tichinoff, who is representing Montreal-based Amalga Créations Médias which produces a true-crime documentary series called Lien Fatal, says Fournel’s expressed concerns are unfounded since the digital photos being sought are of crime scenes that were entered as exhibits during the trial.

Fournel, who is currently serving a five-year term for arson and administering a substance, appeared in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Timmins on Thursday, by way of video.

Fournel told the court she would like the opportunity to argue against the film company having access the exhibits from the trial. She will be given that opportunity — again by way of video — at a proceeding scheduled to take place next week.

At a previous hearing, a request was made on Fournel’s behalf to have this matter be adjourned until the former police officer has been released from prison — but that request was denied since it would potentially hold up production of the film for a number of years.

Amalga Créations Médias is looking to produce a one-hour episode surrounding Fournel’s case.

Danielle Villeneuve, a visual researcher for Amalga, told The Daily Press recently the Fournel episode is already in production and they expect it to air on a French language specialty channel in Quebec which focuses on documentaries sometime this fall.

Fournel is currently serving her sentence at Grand Valley Institution which is a federal women’s prison in Kitchener, Ont.

http://www.timminspress.com/2016/01/21/ ... argue-case
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Arsonist ex-cop rekindles attempt for parole

Postby Thomas » Fri May 06, 2016 7:02 am

TIMMINS - Cecile Fournel, the disgraced ex-cop and Timmins woman convicted of arson, has won the right to appeal a parole board decision that previously denied her full parole and day parole, The Daily Press has learned.

It means Fournel, who was convicted of purposely setting her daughter-in-law’s house on fire, will get a new hearing. It doesn’t necessarily mean she will get parole.

The earlier decisions, which were originally made on Aug. 7, 2015 have been set aside so the new hearing can be held, this time by different members of the Parole Board of Canada.

Through an appeal process, it has been ruled that the original hearing did not provide adequate risk assessment on Fournel.

In a written statement, the Appeal Division wrote the original hearing panel “did not meet its obligation to assess and weigh the positive and negative factors in your case in a fair and equitable manner before arriving at its decision.”

Fournel is currently serving a combined five-year sentence at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a newer federal facility located near Kitchener. In the parole board hearings held last summer, Fournel sought pre-release day parole and pre-release full parole.

Parole was denied partially because the original hearing panel determined that it was difficult to assess Fournel as a risk because Fournel insists she is innocent.

The Appeal Division wrote “the risk assessment was not adequate and thus orders a new hearing.”

In addition, the appeal decision said not enough weight was put on other mitigating factors that are in Fournel’s favour. The report noted Fournel had worked in the prison, had favourable reports for escorted temporary absences and personal family visits. The report also said Fournel was rated as a minimum security prisoner with a low risk of recidivism.

Despite these favourable factors, the original parole board expressed concerns because of Fournel’s denial of guilt. Fournel is a former detective constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. She was assigned to the South Porcupine detachment.

“No substantial analysis took place to explain the disproportionate weight placed upon the denial of guilt in the face of significant positive risk-related factors,” said the Appeal Division.

Fournel was found guilty on charges of arson and administering a noxious substance in connection with a series of circumstances surrounding a house fire on Kellyann Drive in Timmins in 2009.

Following an investigation and trial it was revealed that Fournel was upset at the idea of her daughter-in-law Chantal Boudreau leaving Timmins to pursue higher education in another city, because it meant her grandchildren would be moving out of town as well.

At the time, the daughter-in-law had ended the common-law relationship with Fournel’s son. Court was told that Fournel had an “overbearing” relationship with her son and daughter-in-law, to the point that she had control over their family banking information and that family decisions for the young couple often required Fournel’s approval.

The 15-day trial was heard in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Timmins in 2011, and the judgement was revealed in March 2012 by Justice Patricia C. Hennessy.

Fournel had pleaded not guilty.

The court determined that Fournel had visited Boudreau at her home on Kellyann Drive, with the intent of harming her or causing a reason that Boudreau would lose custody of the children on the grounds she was incapable of caring for the children.

Court was told that Fournel gave her enough Nytol medicine, alcohol coolers and wine that Boudreau passed out. Testimony revealed that Fournel then tucked Boudreau into bed and set the bedroom closet on fire. Boudreau’s children, a girl and a boy, were away at the time. Boudreau was able to wake up and escape the fire.

Fournel was caught on a store surveillance camera, about an hour before the fire, purchasing the medicine which was poured into a drink and consumed by the victim.

Fournel was found guilty on the charges of arson and administering a noxious substance. Fournel was acquitted on a charge of attempted murder at the same trial.

She was sentenced to five years in a federal penitentiary — three years for the arson, two years for the drug charge.

This newest decision by the Parole Board indicates a new parole hearing is to be held, but it does not say when. It the meantime, Fournel continues to serve her sentence.

http://www.timminspress.com/2016/05/05/ ... for-parole
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Firebug ex-cop out of the pen, now in halfway house

Postby Thomas » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:18 am

TIMMINS - The Timmins woman convicted of trying to set her daughter-in-law’s house on fire in 2009 has been released from prison.Cecile Fournel, the ex-OPP officer, was released earlier this week from the “She has two specific conditions. One is that she is not to return to Timmins unless she has special written permission from her parole officer. As well as not to have any direct contact with myself or anyone in my family including the kids,” said Chantal Boudreau of Timmins.

Boudreau is the woman who was Fournel’s daughter-in-law and whose home was set on fire on Kellyann Drive in February 2009. Boudreau’s children, a boy and a girl, are now aged 11 and nine. Boudreau said she has explained to the children with minimal detail about what happened and why their grandmother was sent to prison. She said she has not told the children the full story because she doesn’t believe it is appropriate to burden them with the details at this time.She said her main worry is that once Fournel is free, she can apply through Family Court to get access to the children, even though she will be living in New Liskeard.

Boudreau is opposed to that.“I just feel I need to do what I can to protect the kids at the end of the day, and just turn the page on all of this,” she said Wednesday.Every time the story is repeated at parole hearings and other proceedings, Boudreau is left with the feeling of re-living the entire episode, she said.“

minimum security Grand Valley Institution for Women, in Kitchener, Ont. For the next six months, Fournel will be living in a halfway house near Barrie.

Fournel was the subject of a 15-day trial in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Timmins in 2011. Justice Patricia C. Hennessy ruled that Fournel was guilty of arson and administering a noxious substance. Fournel was acquitted on a charge of attempted murder. In 2012, she was sentenced to five years in prison.

As reported exclusively by The Daily Press last month, Fournel had applied for parole and was turned down in 2015. She then won the right to a new parole hearing when the Appeal Division ruled that an adequate risk assessment had not been carried out, taking into account Fournel had done volunteer work in the prison, had favourable reports for escorted temporary absences and for personal family visits. The report also said Fournel was rated as a minimum-security prisoner with a low risk of recidivism.

Boudreau, who attended Fournel’s newest parole hearing held last Thursday, said she is resigned to the fact that Fournel will eventually get full release by August 2017 if not sooner. She said it is possible Fournel may get out for good behaviour once the six months is completed at the halfway house.

If I decided to remain silent one would assume that what happened would go away, but that’s not the case for me. My main concern has been my children. I choose to not be silent as I would not want my children to hide for fear of being judged, but to remain steadfast in their convictions no matter how controversial,” said Boudreau in an email to The Daily Press on Wednesday.

She said one frustrating aspect for her is the fact that Fournel continues to insist on her innocence, so much so that Fournel has enlisted the help of a group of lawyers and legal experts known as The Innocence Project. Boudreau believes Fournel is working up a case to help her argue for access to the children.

“An admission of guilt will likely never come. Regardless of that fact, I need to continue moving forward in attaining my goals and empower others to have their voices heard. Above all, protecting my children from my attacker is my right as a mother!” Boudreau said in the note.

During the investigation and trial, it was revealed that Boudreau had been in a common-law relationship with Fournel’s son. In November 2008 that relationship ended. Boudreau had considered the idea of moving out of Timmins to pursue higher education.

The court heard that Fournel was upset at the thought of losing access to her grandchildren in Timmins.

On Feb. 25, 2009, Fournel visited Boudreau at her home on Kellyann Drive, around 9 p.m. The prosecutor argued Fournel had the intent of either harming Boudreau or causing a reason that Boudreau would lose custody of the children on the grounds she was incapable of caring for them.

Court was told that Fournel gave enough Nytol medicine, alcohol coolers and wine that Boudreau passed out during Fournel’s visit that night.

During the trial, the court was shown footage from a surveillance camera taken at a drug store showing Fournel purchasing Nytol about an hour before her visit to Boudreau’s residence.

Testimony revealed that Fournel then tucked Boudreau into bed and set the bedroom closet on fire. Boudreau’s children were away at the time. Boudreau was able to wake up and escape the fire.

During the trial, Fournel’s lawyer argued that it was probable and possible that Boudreau negligently or intentionally caused the fire by smoking in bed and that she then acted in concert with another person to frame Fournel.

An investigation by Timmins Police, Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario’s Fire Marshal’s Office subsequently led to criminal charges being laid against Fournel.

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