Ontario Criminal

Criminal Law

Challenge to validity of search warrants was dismissed

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Unreasonable search and seizure [s. 8]

Accused was convicted of several offences involving possession of firearm and dangerous weapon. Accused’s applications under ss. 7, 8, and 9 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including his s. 8 application to exclude evidence obtained pursuant to search warrants obtained under Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, were dismissed. Warrants were based on information provided by confidential informant (CI), computer checks of police databases, and surveillance. Crown conceded that judicial summary of redacted information to obtain (ITO) could not support authorization of warrants. Crown’s application to have judge consider unredacted ITO was granted, accused’s s. 8 application was dismissed, evidence obtained in searches was admitted, and accused was convicted. Accused appealed convictions, challenging validity of search warrants on basis that they violated his s. 8 Charter rights. Appeal dismissed. Application judge did not err by not permitting accused to challenge sub-facial validity of redacted portions of ITO. Read as whole, application judge’s reasons made it clear that accused was permitted to make, and did make, sub-facial challenge to warrant. Application judge dismissed accused’s sub-facial challenge, finding that ITO did not omit any material facts concerning surveillance or that information provided was misleading. Application judge found that ITO was not misleading and that police conducted adequate investigation to corroborate CI’s tip. He dismissed accused’s request for additional information on basis that further disclosure could disclose CI’s identity. Judicial summary explained nature of redacted information and was sufficient to permit accused to challenge credibility of CI, whether information provided by CI was compelling, and whether CI’s information was corroborated.

R. v. Thompson (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 3240, 2017 ONCA 204, J. MacFarland J.A., K. van Rensburg J.A., and Grant Huscroft J.A. (Ont. C.A.).

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