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Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

RCMP warn of pervasive threat posed by dark side of financing

Groups working on anti-money laundering efforts in Canada must begin to see the problem as one of citizen protection as well as an economic issue, according to RCMP Supt. John Shoemaker. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

Discretion over youth sentencing upheld in crowd shooting case

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision is a reminder to lawyers in youth court cases that they cannot count on clients receiving full credit for pre-sentence custody. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

Judge's comments on perjury result in new trial

A trial judge who suggests in open court that a witness committed perjury creates a “reasonable apprehension of trial unfairness that requires a new trial,” the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled recently in overturning a sexual assault conviction. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

Sentencing - Criminal Code offences - Offences against person and reputation - Homicide - Manslaughter - Particular sanctions - Imprisonment - Probation - Sentencing considerations - Submissions - Joint submissions

Appeal from a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal affirming a sentencing decision which set aside a joint submission regarding Anthony-Cook’s sentence. Anthony-Cook entered a plea of guilty to manslaughter on the basis of a joint submission as to sentence. The trial judge rejected the joint submission and imposed a longer custodial sentence than the sentence proposed by the Crown and the defence counsel. He also imposed a probation order for three years, even though the joint submission did not contemplate a period of probation. The Court had to determine whether the trial judge erred in departing from the joint submission proposed by the parties. The trial judge expressed two concerns with the joint submission. First, he noted that counsel had mistakenly overestimated by some six months the amount of credit to which Anthony-Cook was entitled for time spent in pre-sentence custody. Second, the trial judge was concerned that without a probation order, the sentence would not adequately protect the public. Applying the “fitness of sentence” test, the trial judge rejected the joint submission. While giving it careful consideration, he concluded that it did not give adequate weight to the principles of denunciation, deterrence, and protection of the public. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia unanimously dismissed Anthony-Cook’s sentence appeal. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

Criminal Law - Appeals - Grounds - Misapprehension of or failure to consider evidence - Unreasonable verdict

Appeal by Lemaigre from his conviction for assault causing bodily harm. At the time of the alleged offence, Lemaigre was serving the community portion of his sentence as a long-term offender. The long-term supervision order prohibited Lemaigre from having any contact with his former spouse. She was the complainant. She testified that she found Lemaigre at her home, where he punched her once in the face, knocking her unconscious. She had a small scar as a result. Under cross-examination, the complainant admitted she had a history of alcohol problems and that she had been drinking the day before the incident with Lemaigre. No one witnessed the assault. The daughter of Lemaigre and the complainant, and the daughter’s boyfriend, testified for the defence. The daughter stated that the complainant had come to her home drunk, looking for a place to stay. When the daughter refused her entry, the complainant fell outside the home. The daughter and her boyfriend noted that the complainant had the eye injury that the complainant attributed to Lemaigre after the fall. The daughter also started to testify about the complainant punching Lemaigre at the daughter’s home some days later, but the Crown objected to the daughter testifying in chief about the events of any day other than the day in question, April 3, 2012. She rejected the suggestion that Lemaigre may have hit the complainant the next day after the complainant got up and left. The daughter was adamant that Lemaigre was out of town on April 3, 2012. Both she and her boyfriend stated that Lemaigre always called them when he was in town. The judge noted that neither the daughter nor her boyfriend were sure what the complainant may have encountered after she left their home. He found that the daughter angry with the complainant because of her drinking, protective of Lemaigre, and generally unbelievable. He found the complainant straightforward and credible in her account of being punched by Lemaigre and suffering a black eye that constituted bodily harm. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Informant disclosure ruling overturned

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has rejected a lower court ruling that ordered edited police documents containing intelligence from confidential informers be disclosed to defence counsel for the purpose of challenging the validity of a search warrant. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Nova Scotia to revise flawed cyberbullying law

Nova Scotia’s minister of justice has made it clear that new cyberbullying legislation will be introduced this spring. What is much less clear — the nature, breadth and depth of that legislation. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Internet ban for sex offenders deemed 'too harsh'

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision may signal a growing reluctance by judges to issue prohibition orders banning convicted sex offenders from using the Internet. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Defences - Insanity or mental disorder

Appeal by Mock from his second degree murder conviction. Mock lived with his father and brother on a farm. Both Mock and his brother, Tim, suffered from bipolar disorder. Shortly prior to the shooting, Mock destroyed a cell phone he purchased because he believed the FBI and CIA were using it to monitor his activities. He also reported that he believed Tim was a clone. Mock called 911 the evening of February 22, 2012 to report that Tim had been shot. He later told investigators that after smoking marijuana and falling asleep reading, Mock was awakened by a noise he thought was someone trying to steal cattle. He fired a round from his handgun to scare off potential rustlers. He went back to the main farmhouse and discovered that Tim had been shot. While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, Mock decided to take his brother to hospital himself, but crashed the family car into a shed. He started a tractor, then abandoned it. He removed his clothes and started running naked through a field. He then attempted suicide by biting on a pipe and hitting himself in the back of the head with a hard object. Emergency responders interrupted this endeavour. Police arrived to find Tim’s body in the house. Mock then ran inside the house, naked, screaming, crying and incoherent. He was very dirty and had numerous cuts and bruises, including a black eye. Mock was taken to the police station where he explained the next day that he had no memory of the events of the prior evening. His defence of not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder (NCRMD) was rejected at trial. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Procedure - Jury - Questions by jury - Opening and closing statements by counsel - Trial judge’s duties - Charge or directions - Evidence of witnesses

Appeal by the accused from conviction for second degree murder. The victim and the appellant were members of rival gangs. After a confrontation, the victim was shot at close range. Several eyewitnesses identified the appellant as the shooter. This was the appellant’s third conviction for this murder. He and the co-accused had successfully appealed their two previous convictions. The co-accused pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the third trial and testified for the Crown. The victim died about one month after the shooting from a blood clot which blocked the flow of blood to his lungs, likely brought on by complications arising after surgery. During the trial, the trial judge received a note from the jury that gave some personal information about one of the jurors and asked what dangers there were to his life and family’s life from the appellant’s gang. The jury later withdrew this question. The appellant argued the trial judge erred in refusing to start an inquiry to determine whether the jury’s concern expressed in the note arose from evidence at trial or external information, and whether concern for their own safety might prevent jurors from discharging their duty according to their oath. The trial judge found that there was nothing in the note to indicate that the jury would do anything other than to abide by the oath of impartiality. The appellant argued that trial judge gave inadequate and erroneous instructions on the issues of eye-witness and in-dock identification and erred by failing to grant a mistrial after the Crown made the impugned comments in its closing address suggesting to the jury that because of the co-accused’s testimony, the evidence against the appellant was stronger than it had been in his two previous trials. ... [read more]