Groom spends wedding night in jail

A groom spent his wedding night in jail instead of the arms of his beloved after a provincial court judge issued a warrant for his arrest last week because of his failure to pay about $7,000 in child maintenance.

Shai Topaz and Claire Fresneda

planned to be married on Beddis Beach on Saltspring Island on Saturday afternoon. But as Claire waited in her wedding dress for Topaz to arrive at the ceremony, he was surrounded by RCMP officers, whisked away in his linen suit to the Saltspring detachment, then taken by police boat to the Victoria police station.

“I begged them to allow me to at least see my bride and to have some compassion,” said Topaz, a 47-yearold father of two who works for an international

communications

company. “Instead, I was taken

into custody and my bride was not even informed.”

At the time he was taken into custody, Topaz had four warrants out for his arrest. Two were unendorsed warrants, which means the judge wanted him to appear before her. Two were warrants of committal, meaning he had to either pay money owed or spend time in jail.

“All required the police to bring Mr. Topaz before the courts without delay,” explained RCMP spokesman Darren Lagan. “The judge’s instructions on these particular warrants was very clear – locate Mr. Topaz, arrest and detain him and bring him before the court.”

Still, it was very difficult to make the decision to arrest Topaz an hour before his wedding and difficult for the officers who made the arrest, said Sgt. George Jenkins. “Obviously, when you’re interrupting a wedding, it wasn’t comfortable.”

Lawyer Tom Bulmer stepped in to assist the distraught couple after receiving a phone call from one of the guests. On Sunday morning, Topaz had a telebail hearing before a justice of the peace. Topaz said he did not know about the warrants. By that time, the wedding guests had passed the hat and $1,400 owed on the committal warrants were paid, said Bulmer.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Sea of Lights parade sparkles in Tofino

Tofino Resort and Marina’s Sea of Lights provided a breathtaking holiday experience on Friday night.

Winds of up to 90 km/hr predicted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

Trapped humpback whale freed from salmon farm near Tofino

“All of these problems could be solved by the farms moving onto land and getting out of the ocean.”

Ucluelet police searching for missing man

Ucluelet police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing 29-year-old.

VIDEO: Santa visits Tofino

The event included a hearty breakfast, highland dancing and a Purple Dragon demonstration.

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

Most Read