Client charged with 13 counts of theft of cattle. Client professional breeder who became embroiled with complainant in a business deal in which client bred and raised cows for complainant. Complex arrangement in which parties would be entitled to “shares” based on cash invested by complainant and equity earned by client for breeding and maintenance services. In the cattle industry arrangment referred to as “paper cows” as actual registration of ownership meaningless as the parties would periodically redistribute who owned which cows based on various factors relating to quality of cows. Disagreement arose between the parties as to who owned which cows and how many. Dispute led to civil law suit by client against complainant for unlawful seizure of cattle. Parties after a period of litigation came to tentative agreement but when “interest” demand by complainant was rejected by client a complaint was made to police. Defence alleging prosecution amounted to an abuse of the criminal justice process by using it to enforce an alleged civil debt.
Held: Crown entering a stay of proceedings after approximately one year of pre-trial discussions in which the history of civil proceedings was provided to the Crown and a motion for particulars by the defence under the Criminal Code was granted by the court, which was ultimately not complied with by police.