Lack of reliability concerning initial tip increased obligation of officers

Ontario criminal | Charter of Rights

ARBITRARY DETENTION OR IMPRISONMENT

Lack of reliability concerning initial tip increased obligation of officers

Accused sought to exclude evidence regarding his arrest for cocaine trafficking. Police received anonymous tip and put accused under surveillance and observed him have four meetings which police suspected were drug transactions. Accused was long term resident of community, knew lots of people and was observed to meet in place such as department store and hockey game. Application granted, evidence excluded. Court did not find reasonable and probable grounds for arrest, various meetings could be accounted for by other explanations and all of them appeared to be neutral in nature. Lack of any reliability concerning initial tip and accused’s lack of criminal record increased obligation of officers in their investigation to at least observe hand to hand transaction or, where drugs were later found, face to face meeting. It was especially necessary considering fact that accused appeared to have been long time resident of community who knew many people with meetings having possible innocent explanation.
R. v. Biadi (Apr. 22, 2014, Ont. S.C.J., McDermot J., File No. CR-12-00004914-0000) 112 W.C.B. (2d) 771.

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