Courts could not condone deliberate use of violence and threats as investigative technique

Ontario criminal | Courts

STAY OF PROCEEDINGS

Courts could not condone deliberate use of violence and threats as investigative technique

Accused applying for stay of robbery and forcible confinement convictions as result of police brutality. Uncontested evidence of accused was that police repeatedly and severely beat him to obtain statement following arrest for offences. Crown having stayed charges against co-accused as similar beatings resulted in serious permanent injury. Trial judge holding police conduct egregious but stay not warranted as no impact on trial fairness and no permanent injuries sustained by accused. Accused’s appeal allowed and stay of convictions entered. Trial judge erred by failing to analyze residual category of impact of systemic ramifications and effect of police misconduct on repute of administration of justice. Courts could not condone deliberate, systemic use of violence and threats as investigative technique. Fact that police offered no response to uncontested evidence and no actions taken to bring officers to account made need for court to stay convictions more compelling. State actors had engaged in serious criminal conduct with apparently no accountability.
R. v. Singh (Dec. 12, 2013, Ont. C.A., Doherty J.A., Blair J.A., and Watt J.A., File No. CA C55486) 110 W.C.B. (2d) 695.

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