Inference that accused’s van was getaway vehicle was available

Ontario criminal | Appeal

GENERAL

Inference that accused’s van was getaway vehicle was available

Appeal from conviction. Constable on duty, short distance from pizzeria, got call regarding robbery. Constable drove towards pizza shop and saw two or three men running towards nearby movie theatre parking lot. He pursued them onto parking lot. He watched men run towards accused’s silver minivan, which was running. Men appeared to be trying to get into van. Constable stopped cruiser right behind van, noting its licence plate number. When robbers ran away, constable chased them on foot yelling “Police! Stop!”. Accused drove away and was arrested less than 10 minutes later still driving. Identification belonging to one of robbers found in accused’s van. Trial judge found accused was driver of getaway vehicle and, accordingly, both party and conspirator to robbery. Accused convicted of one count each of: possession of weapon for purpose dangerous; robbery; and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Conviction for possession of weapon was stayed pursuant to Kienapple. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge did not misapprehend evidence or render an unreasonable verdict. There was nothing to support innocent explanation for why accused was sitting in his van in middle of night in parking lot, engine running, close to pizza shop, around time that person known to him was robbing shop, or why robbers ran straight to his van after committing robbery. Inference that accused’s van was getaway vehicle was available.
R. v. Lengelo (Oct. 4, 2013, Ont. C.A., Goudge J.A., Cronk J.A., and Gillese J.A., File No. CA C54249) 109 W.C.B. (2d) 523.

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