Dad acquitted of striking suspected stalker

Colin MacLean
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Tony Nippard. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A Mount Pearl man accused of chasing someone he thought was a stalker, and hitting him with his car has been found not guilty.

Tony Raymond Nippard, 49, was accused in August 2011 of having an altercation with someone who had supposedly harassed his 12-year-old daughter and her friend while they were out walking their dog.

After his daughter told him she’d been followed while walking, Nippard got in his pickup truck, found who he thought was the guy and confronted him.

Police investigated the incident, but did not press charges against the other man. Instead, they charged Nippard.

Police had said he assaulted the man, hit him with his car and refused to let him go.

“The guy chased my daughter and friend, petrified the life out of them. As far as I was concerned, there was a possible pedophile in the (area),” Nippard told reporters back in February.

In his decision on the case, Judge Colin Flynn wrote that none of the charges against Nippard had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  

Flynn noted that the witnesses in the case presented their testimony concisely, despite a few inconsistencies. However, he said Nippard’s demeanor in giving his testimony worked against him.

“I have no doubt from his explanation that Mr. Nippard was very concerned for his daughter’s safety on the night of these events,” wrote Judge Flynn.

“Unfortunately, unlike the other witnesses, Mr. Nippard presented his evidence in a condescending and arrogant tone, and on cross examination was confrontational, combative and unwilling to respond directly to a number of questions asked of him. It was very difficult for me to determine what were the actual factual responses to the questions asked on cross examination, verses the hyperbolic responses that peppered his evidence.”

Nippard is well known in the sports community. He is the president and founder of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tae Kwon Do Academy. He’s a master-level competitor, a coach and member of the national board in the sport and member of the coaching council with Sport Newfoundland and Labrador.

His lawyer, Brian Wentzell, told reporters that Nippard’s livelihood depends on him having a clean criminal record.

“Had he been convicted his life would have been ruined ... he would have lost everything,” said Wentzell.

He added that Nippard is away at the national taekwondo championships but that he would be calling his client as soon as possible to give him the good news.

“I’m sure he’s going to be relieved, quite ecstatic about this. Again, his whole life was on the line with this. So I’m sure the weight of the world will be off his shoulders as a result of this today,” he said.

Twitter: @TelegramMacLean

Organizations: Kwon Do Academy

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • AN
    June 29, 2012 - 11:42

    Well known in sporting community? Says whom? Have not heard of the him. Reads like comments are same person.

  • willow
    June 27, 2012 - 12:54

    Bravo Mr. Nippard. You kept your cool as much as you could in this circumstance. Why that perv was not charged with stalking is beyond me. Especially since the girls could identify him. There's wolves on every corner it seems. Mount Pearl seems to have a fair share looking at the headlines. I am truly scared for our children when Justice equals a slap on the wrist for the most appalling crimes against them.

  • Gerry
    June 27, 2012 - 10:08

    Let's see, Mr. Nippard 12 year old daughter was being stalked. Mr Nippard took action.... 'Mr. Nippard presented his evidence in a condescending and arrogant tone, and on cross examination was confrontational, combative and unwilling to respond directly to a number of questions asked of him'...wrote the judge. JesusMary&Joseph, I wonder why; if any of y young daughters were being stalked, terrorized, I fear what I might have done if I got the perp. I would probably do hard time while the perp got a slap on the wrist or suspended sentence....and those so-called 'experts & educated' folks elected- assigned to authortive postions wonder why the majority of the populace, the common Joe & Jane Slob have no faith in the government & justice system anymore....

  • AR
    June 27, 2012 - 08:37

    Mr. Nippard's manner and tone of voice were not on trial here and the judge's personal opinion that Mr. Nippard was condescending when presenting his evidence is irrelevant. The judge also didn't like Mr. Nippard's demeanor ?. So what ?. Mr. Nippard was found not guilty on all charges and his manner, tone of voice and demeanor are his own business and have no place in a judge's written judgment.

  • Mary
    June 27, 2012 - 07:29

    Congrats on your acquittal. We have to always protect our children sadly though the quilty often get off to repeat the same again. I know we can't take the law in our own hands but I would have tried to hold him until police arrived as well. Our children needs protecting from the scum around today, they are so innocent and wolves are around every corner it seems. I'm happy with this decision.

  • Jimmy
    June 27, 2012 - 06:53

    The system works