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“The system went wrong,' says Stratford woman

Scott Taylor, Multimedia Journalist
Ottawa Sun

By Scott Taylor, Stratford Beacon Herald

(Free Press file photo)

(Free Press file photo)

The man police have charged with the assault of a woman who fell from a seventh-storey balcony in London May 25 is a perfect example of how the system has failed, said a woman who knew the man Justin Primmer killed in October 2003.

Primmer was convicted of manslaughter in the stabbing death of well-known Stratford bootlegger Bill “Bonesy” Welch. He was handed a sentence of 10 years behind bars, but two-for-one credit for time served knocked two years off of that and early release took another three. In the end, he served only half the sentence.

“The system went wrong,” said Stratford native Carol Knight-Davis, who was friends with Welch at the time of his death. “The system’s overcrowded. He got 10 and was out in five. Are you telling me that’s right?”

Primmer already had a list of charges and some jail time under his belt prior to Welch’s death. In fact, he had been convicted of assaulting a man while on probation just three months before he killed Welch.

At the time of his conviction in July 2003, his lawyer said Primmer was a young man with the potential for rehabilitation. She added that he was disappointed in himself.

Knight-Davis said seeing Primmer's name in the news was a shock, but not a surprise. She said Primmer has a hot temper and the skills of an MMA fighter.

He has fought under the name Justin “The Ninja” Primmer. One website says he has a professional record of 2-1 from bouts in 2008, very shortly after he was released from prison.

“What does a parole officer think he’s doing by allowing (Primmer) to get into professional fighting,” Knight-Davis asked.

“That didn’t make any sense to me. I told my sister that we’ll hear about him again.”

Primmer has the look of a tough guy from his muscled body and close-cropped hair to the tattoos that adorn his arms and chest.

On starnow.com, a showbiz website that describes itself as “where talent gets discovered,” Primmer writes that while he doesn't have any acting experience, he does have what casting directors want.

“As a Pro Fighter, I’d be great in any Movie or TV Series as a Tough Guy,” he posted.

Police were called to 695 Talbot St. last Saturday to investigate reports of a woman falling from a seventh-floor balcony.

The woman, 21, was taken to London Health Sciences Centre, where she remains in critical condition.

“We have reasonable grounds to believe that she received injuries prior to the fall,” Const. Ken Steeves said.

Police wouldn’t say what caused the fall or whether the woman was thrown from the balcony.

“As her condition improves we’re hoping to be able to speak with her,” Steeves said.

The cause of the fall is still under investigation.

scott.taylor@sunmedia

-- with QMI Agency files


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