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09/29/2010

First the (s)newser, then the perp walk

Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer

When it comes to photo coverage of criminal court proceedings, its unusual to be involved in the story as the day progresses. Often you find yourself seated, waiting almost patiently, for hours for the accused to be released on bond. This can take a considerable amount of time considering all the conditions that must be met by those acting as surety's and then the accused to be processed out of the system. Over the years I have waited endless hours waiting for the accused to be released - but today, it only took about 2 hours.

What was unusual was I began the day covering the news conference by the Ontario Provincial Police related to the fraud charges stemming from a 2003 lottery ticket. The OPP outlined - as best it could - the details behind the charges. Just 400 metres away, and an hour after the OPP newser, the OLG held its own press conference to talk about the case. Naturally, I covered that also since it was close-by, both in distance and time.

The curve came a little later when I was informed the accused could get bail this afternoon seeing their bail conditions were being met. So, I then moved to Milton to cover the release. As it happened, the three accused were photographed (they can't be together as condition of their bail) all separately as they left the courthouse.

It just happened to be a day in which I started with one story, added some more to it with the 2nd assignemnt, and then finished the story with the release of the accused. Other days, other times, we would have had to devote more than one person to capture the various elements of the story as it developed. Today was a day it all fit nicely into my lap.

One thing you don't see in the pictures below is the mini-frenzy that can occur as camerafolks and reporters follow someone to their vehicles to take photographs and ask if they have any comment to make. When the first accused came out and made the silent walk to the car, THREE photographers (2 TV and 1 still), including myself, went for tumbles over curbs and uneven pavement. Walking quickly backwards, your eye glued to a monitor which usually isn't giving you the normal visual perspective, often leads to falling bodies and some broken gear. Today, one tumble left a decent open wound on a Global cameraman, and the CHCH camera operator banged his head on the pavement when he broke my fall as I landed squarely on top of him. 

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 Chairman of OLG, Paul Godrey, speaks to the charges laid by the OPP regarding a fraud which occurred with a winning ticket in 2003 worth $12.5 M

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OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis, (centre) along with Inspector Don Perron (left) and Inspector Bill Price, at a press conference regarding fraud charges relating to a 2003 OLG win. 

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Kathleen Chung (right), accompanied by an unidentified male, leaves Milton court after bonds were posted relating to fraud charges which occurred with a winning ticket in 2003.

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Jui-Chun Chung leaves Milton court after bonds were posted relating to fraud charges.

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     Kenneth Chung leaves Milton court after bonds were posted relating to fraud charges.

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