Sunday 22 October 2023


 Indigenous Man Returns to the Court in Winnipeg where He was Convicted 50 Years Ago



More than 49 years ago on March 5, 1974, Clarence Woodhouse, a young Indigenous man, and a member of the Pinaymootang First Nation on the Fairford Indian Reserve in Manitoba, was convicted of the murder of Mr. Ting Fong Chan in Winnipeg, a crime he did not commit.


On July 18 of this year, two of Mr. Woodhouse’s former co-accused were vindicated in the King’s Bench Court by Chief Justice Joyal in Winnipeg. A fourth accused, Clarence’s brother Russell Woodhouse, sadly died in 2011 before he could be vindicated.


On September 13, 2023, Innocence Canada filed an application with Federal Justice Minister Arif Virani for a ministerial review of Clarence Woodhouse’s conviction pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Code.  We also filed a posthumous application on Russell Woodhouse’s behalf with the support of his surviving sister, Linda Anderson.


Clarence Woodhouse, now in his early 70s, has always proclaimed his innocence but no one listened to him.  The prosecution’s case at his trial in 1974 depended on a “confession” that he was supposed to have made in fluent English despite Saulteaux being the language he spoke. Mr Woodhouse testified that he was assaulted by members of the Winnipeg Police into signing a false confession, but the trial judge and the jury disbelieved him.  Innocence Canada has now adopted his case and brought it before the Justice Minister urging him to quash his conviction.


Monday, October 23, 2023, will be the next step on Clarence Woodhouse’s road to vindication.  He will appear at 2:00 p.m. before the King’s Bench Court at 408 York Avenue, Winnipeg asking that he be released on bail pending the Minister’s decision. 


Jerome Kennedy, a Director of Innocence Canada, who has led the case for Mr. Woodhouse’s vindication, said today:


“49 years has been an interminable wait for Clarence Woodhouse, but he never gave up.  Tomorrow will be an extraordinary day for him, to be back in the very same court where he was wrongly convicted.”


James Lockyer, also a Director of Innocence Canada, who is assisting Mr. Kennedy with the case, said today:


Innocence Canada is privileged to be able to help Mr. Woodhouse and we will be there for him at his release hearing.”


For further information, contact:  


Jerome Kennedy at 709-725-2966 or

James Lockyer at 416-518-7983 or