Young person applied for a s. 24(1) Charter stay on the basis of 25 months of pre-charge delay. Allegations of sexual assault were initially made in 2014, but police closed the file without laying charges. In 2016, a different Detective reviewed the file and laid a charge, though there was no new evidence since the decision to close the file. Issues of abuse of process and the right to a fair trial.
Held: no s 7 breach.
No improper conduct or bad faith on the part of the second Detective who laid charges. Actual prejudice that offends the public’s sense of fairness required for a stay. “While the delay on the surface appears to be long, there is nothing that the Court finds that has prejudiced the young person…[t]o say the delay in itself is abusive and would warrant a stay would, in this Court’s opinion, equate to a judicial creation of a statute of limitations.” Balancing the young person’s interests with society’s interests would not justify imposing a stay.
I. McNish – Defence Counsel