TORONTO - A woman accused of abducting her baby daughter 18 years ago has been denied bail.
Patricia O'Byrne, who has been in custody since she was arrested last week in Victoria, showed no emotion as the decision came down, but her lawyer Edward Greenspan said immediately after the hearing that he'd be seeking a bail review.
Police allege the 54-year-old abducted her own toddler in 1993 while in the midst of a custody battle. While an arrest warrant was issued one month later, she wasn't arrested until last week, after police followed a tip received in September through the Missing Children Society of Canada and shifted the investigation to the West Coast.
Greenspan said outside court he'll appeal the decision and noted that in similar cases in the past, the accused have always been granted bail.
He also said, as his partner Todd White had on Monday, that people should wait to hear the case before condemning his client.
"There's a media frenzy that has surrounded this case that is causing the Crown to go way beyond what it's normally done in cases of this nature, to the point that I think people are forgetting something that's basic in Canadian law, and that's the presumption of innocence," said Greenspan.
"Never forget that at this point in time, in law and in fact, she's presumed innocent."
O'Byrne, he added, was "holding up."
"I think she's hopeful that she'll get bail, be able to go back to British Columbia and prepare for the trial."
Police said this week that more charges could be laid against O'Byrne or any friends or family who may have helped her with the alleged abduction, as well as over the possibility of falsified documents.
The young woman's father, Joe Chisholm, spent the last 18 years searching for her, following leads and posting messages through social media in hopes they could make contact.
He was told by police that his daughter, now 20, had been located last week, but has yet to meet with her, saying he'll wait until she is ready.
There now is a publication ban on the daughter's name.
On Wednesday, a message on his Facebook page said, in part:
"Our family is grateful. The media has been very helpful.... Please devote some attention to solving the next case. This one can heal all by itself. Be proactive and help reunite the next family. Missing children (and Missing People) is an epidemic problem."
O'Byrne is due back in court Dec. 21.