Nova Scotia RCMP deny they ignored allegations of domestic abuse in hitman case

Associated Press

HALIFAX - The RCMP in Nova Scotia are dismissing a reference in a Supreme Court of Canada decision that says they did not adequately respond to a woman's calls for help before she tried to hire a hit man to kill the husband she said was abusing her.

The case of Nicole Ryan attracted national attention last month when the Supreme Court ordered a stay of proceedings, saying it would be unfair to subject her to a new trial.

Ryan was arrested in 2008 when she tried to hire an undercover RCMP officer to kill Michael Ryan, who was accused in court documents of threatening to kill her and her daughter.

In its ruling, the high court also questioned the RCMP's conduct, saying it was "disquieting" they mounted a sting operation to arrest Nicole Ryan rather than respond to her husband's "reign of terror" over her.

In response, the commanding officer for the RCMP in Nova Scotia released a statement today saying officers had acted appropriately and professionally.

Assistant commissioner Alphonse MacNeil says an internal review confirmed the RCMP did not receive a "multitude" of complaints from Ryan about domestic violence.

MacNeil says he's concerned that media reports have left the impression that the RCMP will not respond to domestic violence, saying "nothing could be further from the truth."

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