Raveena Aulakh/Torstar News Service
London, Ont. — A video forensic analyst placed Michael Rafferty’s Honda Civic around Tori Stafford’s school three times on April 8, 2009, the day the little girl disappeared.
OPP special constable Gerald Lanna, the crown’s last witness in its case against Rafferty, told the court he examined three different surveillance videos from that day and concluded the front hood and the headlight area of the video images of the car match up with the images of Rafferty`s car.
Lanna said the rear spoiler can be seen on both video and still images of the car.
A dark-coloured car with dark rims was seen on Fyfe Ave. in Woodstock at 9:04 a.m., 3:05 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on April 8, 2009; it was captured on video surveillance of a high school near Tori’s school.
Tori, 8, was abducted while walking home from school in Woodstock. Rafferty and McClintic, then lovers, were arrested a month later and charged. Tori’s body was found on July 19 near Mount Forest. McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in April 2010. Rafferty’s trial started on March 5.
On Thursday, Lanna evaluated three CASS videos to photos of Rafferty's cars using a variety of techniques to clarify and compare images to each other. The court also saw gradual images of overlay of the first and second videos; it appeared to be the same car.
In the third video segment at 3:30 p.m., Lanna was asked to determine if the car was decelerating. He determined that it was.
Lanna said the 2003 Honda Civic in the three videos shows the same characters with regard to shape, tonality and general features. He said it is also similar to Rafferty’s car.
As a result, the car owned by Rafferty cannot be excluded as being the vehicle of interest captured on the CASS security video sequences, Lanna said.
On Wednesday, a police officer, who examined Rafferty’s telephone records, testified that in the days after Tori’s disappearance, Rafferty and McClintic were in constant touch through phone calls and texts. Rafferty even visited the youth detention facility she was held at for breaching court orders.
They talked to each other almost every day and Rafferty attended her court appearances.
OPP Det. Const. Gordon Johnson charted the trajectory of Rafferty’s copious phone records from February to May 2009, one of the last threads in the crown’s case against Rafferty.