Ontario Criminal


Charter of Rights

Enforcement of rights
Society’s interest in adjudication on merits strongly favoured admission of evidence

Officer observed car street racing and pursued it to dead-end street. Accused was seen in distance walking away from car. Backup officers engaged in investigative detention and performed pat-down search of accused’s pockets that revealed keys to car. Accused was eventually arrested for careless driving and pursuant to outstanding warrants. Police used keys to search car and found loaded handgun. Accused was charged with firearms-related offences. Trial judge found that while police did not comply with duties under s. 10 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there were no breaches of ss. 8 and 9, and that gun evidence should not be excluded. Trial judge found that firearm would have inevitably had been discovered regardless of any breaches of s. 10(a) or (b). Accused was convicted. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. There was no error in trial judge’s conclusion regarding s. 10 breaches or in his analysis that, had there been s. 8 breach, handgun should not have been excluded. Any breach by police was not deliberate and accused had very limited privacy interest in vehicle that he did not own and had apparently abandoned. Society’s interest in adjudication on merits strongly favoured admission.

R. v. Ellis (Aug. 4, 2016, Ont. C.A., David Watt J.A., P. Lauwers J.A., and C.W. Hourigan J.A., CA C57843) Decisions at 106 W.C.B. (2d) 674 and 106 W.C.B. (2d) 779 were affirmed. 132 W.C.B. (2d) 226.

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