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The CAVEAT Final Report:

A goodbye and summation of CAVEAT's work and achievements.


On August 9, 1991, Nina de Villiers was abducted and murdered, while jogging in Burlington, Ontario, by Jonathan Yeo, a man out on bail who had a long history of violence.

Nina's tragic murder led to an outpouring of emotion from friends and strangers alike. The messages reflected the fear that gripped the community -- the realization this could happen to anyone, that society is not protected by the justice system. In response to these concerns, the de Villiers family, along with some friends, decided to launch a petition to give Canadians a means of voicing this fear.

On February 7, 1994, The de Villiers Petition, signed by 2.5 Million Canadians, was presented to Justice Minister Allan Rock, in Ottawa. Due to public demand, CAVEAT continues to circulate the petition to allow concerned Canadians, who have not already done so, to sign it.

From April to August, 1992, a Coroner's Inquest examined Jonathan Yeo's eleven year history of attacks on women and how he had continually slipped through cracks in the Justice and Mental Health systems. The inquest revealed that, prior to killing Nina de Villiers, Yeo had been released on $3000 bail, with no weapons restrictions, after being charged with sexual assault and using a firearm. Yeo tried to leave the country, but was stopped at the border by a U.S. customs officer. The officer reported to Canadian Customs that Yeo seemed dangerous and had a firearm, his bail release form, and a suicide note. Canadian Customs officers felt they had no legal right to separate Yeo from his weapon, even though he was in violation of his bail by trying to leave the country. Yeo was allowed to return freely to Canada. One hour later, Yeo abducted Nina in Burlington and killed her using the same rifle he had used in the previous assault for which he was out on bail. Next, he went on to murder Karen Marquis in New Brunswick and then shot himself during a police pursuit in Hamilton, Ontario.

The jury of the Yeo Inquest produced 137 recommendations aimed at preventing such a tragedy from happening again. CAVEAT came into formal being as a voice committed to seeing that these recommendations are acted upon.

CAVEAT wants an integrated justice system that shares information and is accountable for the decisions. We seek justice, not revenge. We believe that the protection of the public must be the overriding goal of the justice system, and that the offender's rights should not be greater than those of the victim.

We focus on building safe and healthy communities through cooperative crime prevention and response initiatives.


The de Villiers Petition

Soon after the death of their daughter Nina in August, 1991, a national petition was launched by Priscilla and Dr. Rocco de Villiers, with the assistance of Hamilton Mountain M.P., Beth Phinney. The response to the petition was overwhelming, and as a result, CAVEAT soon came into being. In just a little more than 2 years, 2.5 Million Canadians had added their names to the petition.

On February 7, 1994, the de Villiers Petition, was presented to Justice Minister Allan Rock, in Ottawa. Priscilla and Rocco de Villiers later met with Prime Minister Jean Chretien to discuss the petition.

Due to public demand, CAVEAT continued to circulate the petition after presentation to the Justice Minister. We estimate that we collected close to 3 Million signatures before discontinuing the petition.

You can take a look at the petition here.

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last updated:  07.19.2000 - 14:25:32 EDT
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