Ontario Criminal

Charter of Rights

Search not functional equivalent of strip search

Appeal from convictions. Police received anonymous call with description of man walking with gun near housing complex. Complex well known to police for drug activity and undercover officers regularly attended. When they responded to call, officers saw man fitting description. Accused behaved evasively when asked if he was armed. Officer told accused to put his hands up and to turn around; accused did neither. Police struggled with accused, during which one officer pulled his shirt up and saw gun. Handgun was fully-loaded .45 calibre semi-automatic handgun. Accused arrested. Small quantity of marijuana recovered during search incident to arrest. Accused convicted of offences arising out of possession of gun and marijuana. Appeal dismissed. Police may detain person for investigative purposes if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that person is connected to particular criminal activity, and that such detention is reasonably necessary. Combination of anonymous tip and what occurred when accused encountered police was capable of supporting reasonable belief that accused might be connected to gun crime as reported. What occurred was no more, and arguably less, intrusive than pat-down search. Search not functional equivalent of strip search. Conduct of police offended neither s. 8 nor s. 9 Charter. Gun and marijuana were properly admitted as evidence at trial.

R. v. Williams (Dec. 20, 2013, Ont. C.A., E.A. Cronk J.A., David Watt J.A., and K. van Rensburg J.A., File No. CA C56001) 111 W.C.B. (2d) 574.

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