Ontario Criminal

DNA Identification

Admission of DNA evidence would not bring administration of justice into disrepute

Application by accused RB for order to exclude at trial forensic DNA evidence obtained through bodily substances warrant executed on RB. Three armed persons participated in home invasion and they escaped in vehicle that collided with public transit bus. Several occupants of vehicle fled and they discarded clothing nearby. Police seized clothing and had them tested for presence of DNA. Black jacket contained DNA and it matched RB’s DNA that was on convicted offender database. Warrant was obtained to have RB’s DNA tested, by pricking his finger and obtaining blood sample. Application dismissed. Police acted improperly when they failed to repeat to accused conditions set out in warrant. Even though taking blood sample by pricking accused’s finger was intrusion of bodily integrity, RB was required to comply with warrant. Accused’s rights under s. 8 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated. DNA evidence, however, was not excluded, for its admission would not bring administration of justice into disrepute. Violations were minor and there was no deliberate misconduct not to inform RB right away. RB was given warrant to read and it listed all of charges he faced. He confirmed that he spoke to his lawyer about DNA warrant and he could speak to lawyer again if required. He also was aware of what would be result by providing his hand and finger to obtain sample. There was no wilful disregard of accused’s rights under s. 8.

R. v. Ahmad (Mar. 21, 2015, Ont. S.C.J., A.J. O’Marra J., File No. CR-14-10000056-0000) 120 W.C.B. (2d) 569.

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