Ontario Criminal

Charter of Rights

Fact accused not provided with medication did not affect voluntariness of statements

Application by accused to exclude his statements made during his transport from Quebec to Ontario, to undercover officers and to detective in Sudbury police station. Accused was charged with first degree murder. He was provided with medication but after several days in jail he attempted suicide. Application dismissed. Statements were given voluntarily. Accused’s message to detective was clear. He wanted cigarettes and he was clear that cigarettes would allow him to calm down and tell truth. Accused did not suffer from any condition that deprived him of exercising choice whether or not to speak to detective. Any lack of medication did not deprive accused of ability to choose whether or not to speak to detective. Accused was also not subjected to oppressive circumstances that caused him to provide statements. Even though he was detained in holding cell for five days leading up to interview he was clothed and fed and he was taken to hospital at his request. Fact that accused was not provided with his medication did not affect voluntariness of his statements for he had not been taking them for several months before interview occurred. Accused’s right to silence under s. 7 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was not breached based on failure to provide his medication, either with regard to statements he made to undercover officers or to detective. Accused did not display any symptoms of mental illness or of serious psychological stress during trip to Sudbury or during interview with detective. He was coherent and articulate during those times. There was no connection between police conduct, accused’s suicide attempt and evidence he sought to exclude. Even if s. 7 was breached evidence was admitted for to do so would not bring administration of justice into disrepute. R. v. Lavallee (May 7, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., Gauthier J., File No. 7/10) 102 W.C.B. (2d) 495 (27 pp.).

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