NEWS

Tori Stafford's dad angry her killer wants a public lawyer

06/10/2013 08:42 EDT | Updated 08/10/2013 05:12 EDT
The father of Woodstock, Ont., schoolgirl Tori Stafford said today he's angry the man convicted of killing his eight-year-old daughter is applying to have taxpayers cover the cost of an appeal lawyer.

Rodney Stafford arrived at the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto on Monday afternoon, when Michael Rafferty — who is serving life in prison for killing Tori — is due to appear via video link to seek government aid for an appeal lawyer.

- Michael Rafferty appeals Tori Stafford murder conviction

- Michael Rafferty found guilty of Tori Stafford murder

"I think it's nonsense," Stafford told reporters on his way to the court. "It's another stunt to keep himself out of the cells. Taxpayers don't have to be doing this. I'm really angry."

Rafferty was convicted in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Victoria Stafford, who went by the nickname Tori. The girl had been lured into a car and abducted while walking home from school in April 2009.

Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in April 2010 for her role in the killing and testified against Rafferty, her former boyfriend. She, too, is serving a life sentence.

The appeal by Rafferty, 31, argues the judge failed to properly instruct the jury and that the jury didn't properly understand the required evidence to convict him of first-degree murder.

The court heard that by Aug. 12, a private lawyer who has been in touch with Rafferty hopes to have enough information for the court to determine if Rafferty will get a court-appointed lawyer or have his application for legal aid approved.

Both scenarios would result in taxpayers footing the bill for Rafferty's appeal.

Rodney Stafford said he and other family members plan to be in court for every step of the appeal process.

"No matter what, we're going to do what we can to make sure he stays in there," Stafford said. "Total justice for Victoria.

"I'm angry and a lot of other people should be. There are other monsters out there and this could happen to any other child."

Rafferty was denied legal aid to hire a lawyer in November, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed Friday.

MORE:cbcNews