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EVIDENCE – Authentication - Business records - Electronic records - Photographs and video recordings

Thursday, December 10, 2020 @ 6:14 AM  


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Appeal by Brar from his conviction for fraud over $5,000. Four cheques were drawn on accounts that had insufficient funds. The appellant knew the holder of one account and was the sole shareholder and director of the corporation that held the other accounts. The net loss was $57,031. At trial, the Crown tendered video stills and video generated by the bank’s surveillance cameras through one of the bank’s employees, a senior investigator with the bank’s security and investigation division. The employee attested that another individual pulled the videos from her precise retrieval requests for information. The trial judge found the appellant was the person depicted in the stills and videos completing the NSF transactions.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The surveillance videos and video stills were properly admitted. The statutory requirements of s. 29 of the Canada Evidence Act did not require personal or first-hand knowledge of the records. The employee’s employment with the bank and her affidavit evidence, which attested to general knowledge of the relevant records, facially complied with all statutory preconditions for admissibility under s. 29 of the Canada Evidence Act. Even if the employee did not physically pull each relevant video, that did not mean she did not have knowledge of the bank’s digital recordkeeping to competently attest that what was annexed to her affidavit were true copies of those video recorded transactions.

R. v. Brar, [2020] A.J. No. 1205, Alberta Court of Appeal, B.K. O'Ferrall, F.L. Schutz and J. Strekaf JJ.A., November 10, 2020. Digest No. TLD-December72020007