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Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 11:19 AM

EVIDENCE - Methods of proof - Identification

Appeal by the accused, Campbell, from a conviction for break, enter and robbery. Two people wearing hats and masked with bandanas entered a residence and robbed one of the occupants, Brydges, of money he had received earlier that day. One perpetrator, identified as Landry, did all of the talking while brandishing a knife. The second perpetrator, alleged to be the accused, stood silently behind Landry with a gun under his arm. Brydges gave the perpetrators $2,000 and they fled. Landry was arrested shortly thereafter. He pled guilty and implicated the accused. The sole issue at trial was identification. Brydges and another occupant testified that they recognized the accused as an individual they had previous social dealings with known as Mack Truck. They identified the accused and Landry from Facebook photos. Landry testified at the accused's trial and admitted his involvement but stated he was unable to remember the identity of the second perpetrator. The accused testified and acknowledged his nickname and prior dealings with the victims. He denied his involvement in the robbery. The trial judge rejected the accused's evidence and disbelieved Landry's inability to remember the robbery. The trial judge accepted the victims' identification evidence, concluding the accused was the second perpetrator. The accused appealed. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 2:32 PM

Ottawa pushes controversial trafficking bill

The federal government is moving to proclaim an inert Conservative-era human trafficking law containing a rebuttable evidentiary presumption of guilt that the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) contends is “likely unconstitutional” and should be scrapped. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Offences against person and reputation - Kidnapping, hostage taking and abduction

Trial of the accused, Brandon Blackmore, Gail Blackmore, and James Oler, for removal of a child from Canada for the purpose of a sexual offence. In 2004, the accused were members of a community of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at Bountiful, British Columbia. Brandon and Gail were the natural parents of MMB, age 13. The Crown alleged that Brandon, assisted by Gail, removed MMB from Canada and transported her to the United States to facilitate her marriage to Jeffs, the Prophet and President of the accused's Church. In a separate count, the Crown alleged that Oler removed his daughter, CEO, age 15, from Bountiful to the United States to facilitate her marriage to another member of the Church. Neither child testified at trial. The Crown relied upon marriage, personal and priesthood records kept by the Church and seized by law enforcement personnel in Texas in 2008. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Offences against person and reputation - Assaults - Sexual assault - Consent - Honest but mistaken belief

Appeal by the accused, Beck-Wentzell, from a conviction for sexual assault. The victim was the accused's common-law spouse. The victim testified that the accused arrived home from work while she was asleep with their child. She testified that the accused entered the bedroom and began removing her sleepwear, indicating a desire for sexual intercourse. The victim testified that she told the accused she was not interested. She stated that the accused performed sexual intercourse while she repeated "no" throughout their interaction. The accused testified and denied sexually assaulting the complainant. The trial judge rejected the accused's evidence and entered a conviction. On appeal, the accused claimed the trial judge misconstrued his evidence as a denial intercourse occurred. Instead, the accused maintained that his evidence was he ceased intercourse as soon as the victim voiced her non-consent. The accused relied on text messages with the victim in support of his position. The accused submitted the trial judge failed to consider his defence of honest but mistaken belief in consent. ... [read more]

Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 3:29 PM

Ontario Court of Justice appoints three new judges

Ontario has appointed three new judges to the Ontario Court of Justice, effective March 1, 2017. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Law students examine suspected wrongful convictions

Not applicable ... [read more]

Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Sentencing - Offences in relation to terrorism - Particular sanctions - Imprisonment - Consecutive sentences - Sentencing considerations - Totality principle - Sentence imposed on co-accused

Appeal by the Crown and cross-appeal by the offender, Ahmed, from a 12-year sentence imposed for terrorism-related offences. The offender supported the Taliban and believed it was his duty to assist violent Jihadist causes. He fostered a relationship with Alizadeh, who had attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and sworn an oath of loyalty to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Alizadeh sought to form an Ottawa-based terrorist group that would conduct attacks in Canada. The offender solicited money from his father-in-law and another individual, Sher, for Alizadeh to send to foreign terrorists to purchase weapons. The offender knew that Alizadeh possessed components for making remote controlled explosives and intended to assemble them for use in Canada. The offender hosted a meeting with Alizadeh and Sher in which they attempted to recruit Sher for a terrorist group led by the offender. All three individuals were arrested shortly thereafter. The offender was arrested in possession of explosive devices, but neither the Crown nor the defence was able to prove the purpose for which the devices were possessed. Alizadeh pled guilty and received a 24-year sentence pursuant to a joint submission. The offender was convicted of conspiring to facilitate terrorism and participating in the activities of a terrorist group. Sher was acquitted. The offender, age 26 at the time of the offences and age 30 at the time of sentencing, had no prior convictions. The Crown sought a 20-year sentence. The defence sought a sentence of five to eight years. The offender was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, less one year credit for time served. The sentence was comprised of five years for conspiracy, plus seven years’ consecutive for participation. The Crown appealed and the offender cross-appealed, with each reiterating their respective positions taken at the initial sentencing. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Criminal Law - Criminal Code offences - Failure to provide necessaries of life - Criminal negligence - Causing death by criminal negligence

Trial of Lovett on charges of failing to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence causing the death of her seven-year-old son, Ryan. Lovett was a well-educated mother of two living in a low-rent apartment in poverty with Ryan. He stayed home from school with a cold early in February 2013. He returned to school and other activities a few days later, but an extended school absence preceded his death from septic shock on March 2. Lovett had been researching various ailments on the internet in the weeks leading up to his death, including ear infections, swollen lymph nodes, and pus. She communicated to friends that Ryan needed constant care and that he had come down with every problem a child his age could have. Lovett used various home remedies on Ryan to address his symptoms. She claimed she gave him Advil for pain, but an autopsy revealed no Advil in his system. She first sought medical attention for Ryan on March 2, when he started vomiting, slurring his words and falling down. By the time emergency responders arrived, he was dead. The autopsy showed multiple organ failure. Doctors opined that Ryan would have exhibited many symptoms in the days prior to his death that should have been recognized as warranting medical intervention. Administration of antibiotics any time before Ryan’s final two days of life could have saved him. Lovett testified that she did not think Ryan was as sick as he was. She claimed she did not know he had an ear infection, although there was pus coming from his ear and the area around it had become darkened. She admitted that his eyes had turned yellow and that she was trying to treat him for jaundice with dandelion tea. She testified that visiting doctors was not part of her routine. Some neighbours who saw Ryan on the day before he died did not recognize how sick he was. One friend, Lapointe, did recognize how serious the situation was and tried to convince Lovett to take Ryan to the doctor, but acquiesced when Lovett became argumentative. There was some evidence from other friends that Lovett had used antibiotics in the past to treat a spider bite and when Ryan had an infected tooth. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Sentencing - Homicide - Manslaughter - Sentencing considerations - Aggravating factors - Deterrence - Denunciation - Protection of the public - Submissions - Victim impact statements - Previous record - Lengthy

Sentencing of the offender, Vader, for two counts of manslaughter. The offender was a methamphetamine addict who killed an elderly married couple and stole their RV, an attached SUV, and the vehicle contents. The encounter occurred in a rural area off of a main highway. A firearm was discharged during the incident. The RV was burned in an effort to destroy evidence linking the offender to the victims. The victims’ bodies were placed in an unknown location and remained undiscovered. The offender’s trial for first degree murder resulted in manslaughter convictions, as it could not be established that the killings were planned and deliberate. The offender, age 38 at the time of the killings and age 44 at the time of sentencing, had a lengthy criminal record related to drug and property crimes. He refused to participate in pre-sentencing assessments, denied any drug use, and continued to maintain his innocence. The Crown sought a sentence of life imprisonment. Defence counsel argued in favour of a disposition of time served, reflecting a six-year sentence. In addition, the offender sought a stay of proceedings or reduction in sentence on the basis of an abuse of process, cruel and unusual conditions in pre-trial custody, interference with his consultations with counsel, and an unlawful strip search. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 1:59 PM

Why Winnipeg leads nation in fewest unfounded sex assault cases

Police services across Canada have been called into action by an investigation done by the Globe and Mail on the high rates of unfounded sex assault cases. The 20-month investigation pulled data from 870 police forces across the country and found that one out of every five sexual assault complaints is reported as unfounded. This has resulted in the review of over 10,000 allegations. ... [read more]