Panhandler in murder case charged again
The Toronto Sun October 12, 2007

Fresh charges of aggravated assault against a young woman already accused in the high-profile murder of St. Catharines resident Ross Hammond were questioned yesterday by her lawyer.

"I'm extremely skeptical about these allegations and whether they've got the right person," John Scarfe said after Nicole Kish made a brief appearance at College Park courthouse.

Kish, 21, was arrested Wednesday at her grandmother's home near Hamilton, where she's been ordered to stay after being released on $165,000 bail on a second-degree murder charge.

Scarfe said he wanted to know why the new charges -- from an alleged incident on July 20 -- have taken so long to come forward, especially as his client has been in the media spotlight ever since Hammond, 32, was stabbed to death on Queen St. W. on Aug. 9 after a confrontation with panhandlers.

"If an allegation like this is raised, why does it take two and a half months to get this woman before a photo lineup?" Scarfe said.

In court yesterday, Kish was brought in wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt and handcuffs. She did not acknowledge her mother and other relatives sitting in the front row.

A bail hearing is set for today. The new charges involve an incident on Queen St. West and Spadina where a 55-year-old woman told police she bent down to pat a panhandler's dog.

Cops say the woman was then set upon and kicked repeatedly, sending her to hospital. "I'm looking forward to having a chance to question this (today) and find out more of the details," Scarfe said.

The good news is that she is being named. The bad news is that many if not most of the violent panhandlers here are crackheads, but it seems to be politically incorrect to label them as such. From what I understand our social services and municipal staff are believers in the victimhood of drug abusers, that there are no bad people etc.

Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves, as my neighbourhood has been a dumping ground for welfare recipients, mental out-patients, immigrants etc for decades. Crackheads brazenly stroll about at all hours, begging, stealing, vandalizing, dealing and hooking with almost complete freedom, on public and private property.