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Four witnesses speak at trial for Sask. man accused of abducting daughter


The trial for Michael Gordon Jackson continued Wednesday with four more witnesses taking the stand to testify.

Jackson, 53, is standing trial for contravention of a custody order for withholding his then seven-year-old daughter from November 2021 to February 2022 from the child’s mother and his ex-wife in order to prevent the child from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

The two were found in Vernon, B.C. after a Canada-wide warrant was placed on Jackson.

Crown prosecutor Zoe Kim-Zeggelaar asked each witness about conversations Jackson had with them regarding his feelings of COVID-19 and the COVID vaccine in the time leading up to the incident.

Each one answered he was against the vaccine for everyone.

Shawn Sim and his wife first met Jackson in 2019.

They both said they became friends with him and his young daughter, often taking family trips together as the Sim’s had similar aged daughters.

In fall 2021, Jackson had a scheduled court date in Regina. The Sims said he stayed at their house the night prior because it was closer to the city than Carievale, Sask.

“He was trying to go through the court to stop [his daughter] from getting vaccinated,” Sim told the court.

He added the visit was about a week before Jackson went into hiding.

“Did he talk about leaving?” Kim-Zeggelaar asked.

“In a very general way,” Sim responded. “Something like, ‘I’ll do anything to keep her safe and go anywhere.’”

“If the court would not step in to mediate, he would take her out of the situation,” he added.

That visit was the last time the Sims saw Jackson in person until he was released from prison on bail in February 2023.

While Jackson was on the run, Sim became a liaison between Jackson and the RCMP as well as the girl’s mother.

“Did you know where Mr. Jackson or his daughter was?” the prosecutor asked.

“No,” Sim responded. “And I did not ask.”

Jackson's financial troubles

On Tuesday, the girl’s mother testified she wanted to gain full custody of the couple’s daughter because “she could better provide” for her.

Sim said Wednesday, Jackson was trying to do the same.

“[Jackson] wanted to gain custody of his daughter [through the court],” Shawn testified. “He thought about potentially selling his home to put himself in a better situation.”

Two other men testified Wednesday.

Warren Dalziel manages a garage in Oxbow, Sask. He said Jackson would get his car serviced there and that the two had built a friendship.

Dalziel said he noticed Jackson’s financial struggles following his divorce in 2016 and he would pay Jackson’s $700/month property tax on his residence.

“[He] asked me to pay them,” Dalziel said. “I assumed he was in arrears and did it in good faith.”

Dalziel claimed the town would repossess the home if the property tax was not paid.

He added Jackson stayed at his home with his daughter for a couple of nights a few days before the pair went into hiding.

“He told me his power was getting shut off,” Dalziel said.

Greg Schiestel owns a business in Alameda, Sask and said he and Jackson would trade and buy automotive parts from each other.

He testified he would often pay the utility bill for Jackson’s residence.

“He couldn’t make the payments,” Schiestel said.

Schiestel claimed Jackson reached out to him after he went into hiding to see if he could pay another bill.

“I always help people in need,” he told the court. “At the time, I didn’t know if it was right or wrong what he was doing.”

“Everything I had heard was a rumour,” Schiestel added.

Jackson's cross examinations

Jackson is representing himself in the proceedings and was able to cross examine witnesses on Wednesday.

“Did [the RCMP] use my property as a weapon to stop you from paying my bills,” Jackson asked both Schiestel and Dalziel.

They both answered, “yes.”

“If I paid them, I would face arrest,” Schiestel claimed.

“The town [told me] they could make me stop,” Dalziel said. “I had never heard of a town doing that.”

Jackson also asked each witness, “In your experience, was my relationship with my daughter close?”

Each one answered, “yes.”

He would then follow up with, “Do you think she felt safe in my care.”

The answer again was a unanimous “yes.”

The Sims said they would often drive Jackson and his daughter to and from the mother’s house to assist the father in the exchanging of custody.

“Did my daughter’s demeanor change when you would pick her up versus when you would drop her off [at her mother’s]?” Jackson asked the Sims.

“There was quite a difference,” Sim testified. “When picking [her] up, she was excited.”

“When dropping off, she was quiet,” he added.

“She would be cautious. It looked like she was going somewhere unsafe,” Sarah Sim replied.

The trial will continue Thursday. Top Stories

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