The man who killed his estranged wife outside a southwest Calgary elementary school had twice broken a no-contact order meant to protect the woman and their children.
Court documents show the man was also charged with sexually assaulting the woman in July and was supposed to be in court next month.
Calgary police say the woman was stabbed to death in a domestic homicide outside the front doors of John Costello Catholic School on Tuesday morning.
The man was found dead of an apparent suicide a short time later.
“(A no-contact order) is, unfortunately, one of those things where it’s like a criminal offence. It’s kind of a warning, it’s a threat of punishment, but it hasn’t got any deterrent effect until after the fact,” said Doug King, a justice studies professor at Mount Royal University.
CTV News is not naming the man or woman in order to protect the identities of their three young children.
“Yes, they had a no-contact order, but that doesn’t stop somebody who wants to stalk you. It doesn’t stop somebody who wants to kill you,” said Dee Adekugbe, executive director at Ruth’s House, a domestic violence support centre in Calgary.
“There’s no way that you can watch over the victim so that the perpetrator doesn’t follow that victim around. It’s just not possible. So it really doesn’t do justice at all,” she said.
According to court filings, a condition of the man’s release order stemming from the July sexual assault charge was to avoid any contact with the woman and children.
He was ordered to stay away from their residence, her place of work and schools.
He broke the no-contact order in September and again in November.
Each time, he was charged with failing to comply with the conditions of his release, was ordered to pay a fine and was released again.
In a statement late Wednesday, Calgary police also confirmed the man had warrants outstanding as of Tuesday morning.
“Bail reform is an ongoing conversation and is a concern for law enforcement agencies and our community when violent offenders are released after being charged,” said a statement from the service, in part.
“The CPS has been a strong advocate for much-needed bail reform.”
Advocates for domestic violence victims say more needs to be done to properly protect people when no-contact and restraining orders are not working.
“I think for victims, (there needs) to be more support for them. They need to be able to find ways whereby if they’re having problems, they can reach out for help, and that help is available,” Adekugbe said.
Police say the case remains under investigation.
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