August 26th, 2020 Update


R v Derry, 2020 Calgary Provincial Court – Conditional Discharge For Assault Causing Ruptured Eardrum

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Accused pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm. He was looking after the child of his partner. Complainant was the child’s father. He was not happy that the accused was involved with care of the child, and confronted him. Accused asked him to leave, but he did not. Complainant stated that, for all he knew, … Read More.

R v Laverdiere, 2020 Edmonton Court Of Appeal – 7 Year Sentenced For Beating Reduced To 5 Years For Parity With Co-Accused

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Defence appeal of 7-year sentence for aggravated assault after trial. Accused and co-accused attacked the complainant, all of whom were inmates at ERC. Accused punched complainant six times; co-accused punched him about 30 and kicked him in the head three times. Serious lasting injuries. Co-accused received 4-year sentence on early guilty plea. Held: Appeal allowed; … Read More.

R v Gomez, 2020 Edmonton Queen’s Bench – Right To Counsel Violated When Strip Search Conducted Prior To Permitting Right

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Drug trial. Defence made multiple Charter claims, challenging grounds for arrest, a search warrant, and a strip search; conduct of the strip search; and delay in opportunity to contact counsel. Regarding 10(b), accused when arrested did not request to speak to counsel. Once at station and advised that a strip search would occur, he requested … Read More.

R v Sandhu, 2020 Edmonton Queen’s Bench – Police Service Dog Records & Handler Training Not Subject To Mandatory Disclosure

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First party disclosure application in drug case. Accused’s vehicle was stopped, and a police service dog (PSD) and handler were deployed to search around the exterior for odours. Defence sought training materials provided to the handler, deployment records for the PSD, and occurrence reports for any instances where the PSD was deployed and nothing was … Read More.

R v Gordey, 2020 Fort McMurray Queen’s Bench – Covid 19 Jail Restrictions Reduce Sentence Length For Home Invasion

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Accused pleaded guilty to home invasion robbery. One important issue that arose was how to account on sentence for restrictions in ERC related to COVID-19. Total time in pre-sentence custody was 412 actual days; approximately 90 were under the COVID-19 restrictions. Held: Treated as additional mitigating circumstance. Court analyzed various possible approaches. COVID-19 restrictions did … Read More.

R v JMW, 2020 Alberta Court of Appeal (Calgary) Evidence Of Other User Access To Computer With Child Pornography

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Defence appeal of child pornography convictions. Circumstantial case. The son of the appellant, called by the Crown, vaguely testified in direct examination that he himself did use child pornography in the relevant timeframe. In cross-examination, he confirmed that about 80 other people would have had access to the computers too. Trial Crown incorrectly claimed that … Read More.

March 16th, 2020 Update


Exclusion Of Evidence Unnecessary/Charter Breach Not Policy Driven – R v Russel 2020 Alberta Court Of Appeal

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Appeal from conviction. After arrest, police delayed access to counsel until a search warrant for his residence had been obtained and the search started. Various illicit items found in residence. Held: Appeal dismissed.  Crown conceded 10(b) breach on appeal. However, for 24(2), Court found exclusion was not justified. “Without needing to fully canvass the issue … Read More.

February 13th, 2020 Update


Peremptory Juror Challenge Amendments Have Prospective Effect Only – R v Levaillant 2019 Edmonton Queen’s Bench

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Accused elected trial by Judge and Jury in November 2018 and argued that the amendments to the Code abolishing peremptory challenges affect substantive rights and do not apply to retrospectively. Crown argued the amendments affect only procedural rights and apply retrospectively from September 19, 2019. Held: The amendments to peremptory challenges in Bill C-75 operate … Read More.

New Peremptory Juror Challenges Only Apply For Offences Alleged After Amendments – R v SB 2019 Edmonton Queen’s Bench

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Accused elected trial by Judge and Jury. Ahead of jury selection, defence filed application to determine whether the amendments abolishing peremptory challenges in s 269 of C-75, which took effect September 19, 2019, were retrospective or prospective in their effect. Accused argued the legislation affects substantive rights and therefore operates prospectively. Crown argued the amendment … Read More.

Direct Indictment On Murder Charge Discharged At Preliminary Not Abuse – R v Srianandan 2019 Calgary Queen’s Bench

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Accused charged with 2 counts of second degree murder was discharged for those offences after preliminary hearing, but committed on 2 counts of manslaughter. At the first arraignment date, Crown presented a direct indictment alleging the second degree murder charges. Defence challenged the direct indictment based on abuse of process, citing breaches of Charter ss … Read More.