Ontario Criminal


Charter of Rights

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

Charges stayed in case of obvious collusion by police

 

Accused was charged with possession of heroin for purpose of trafficking and sought Charter stay alleging s. 8 breach. Accused contended that major crimes officer orchestrated traffic stop of accused who was suspected drug trafficker and then further orchestrated pretext to search his car by putting powdered heroin on top of console. Scene of crime officer was only called to investigate and record state of accused’s vehicle after it was searched and not before. Both officers testified to patently untrue story about hearing accused’s licence plate over radio and they stuck to that story until it was undermined by recordings. Defence counsel explained that she had purposely not asked Crown counsel for pre-trial disclosure of dispatch tapes; instead, she requested production at opening of trial based on prior experience that police routinely review tapes before they testify if they were produced in Crown disclosure and tailor their testimony to match tapes. Application granted, charges stayed. Obvious collusion and its denial by officers was disturbing and led inevitably to conclusion that there was something other than licence plate that prompted two officers to attend at arrest of accused in parking lot that day. Experienced police officers on major crimes unit did not call scene of crime officer to examine and document crime scene prior to search and course of conduct by police suggested strategy designed not so much to investigate crime scene but to cover their own tracks which could not be condoned.

R. v. Tran (Sep. 3, 2015, Ont. S.C.J., E.M. Morgan J., File No. CF-15-90000036) 124 W.C.B. (2d) 126.

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