Crown appeal from Askov stay entered in relation to robbery charges. Total delay from arrest to conclusion of trial was 20 months and 16 days. Accused was in custody. No delay attributable to accused. Primary cause of delay was institutional, including an 8 month delay waiting for the earliest trial date offered in Queen’s Bench.
Held: Appeal dismissed.
Trial judge’s decision to grant a stay is entitled to deference: CD, 2014 ABCA 333. “We agree with the trial judge that the period of institutional delay was unreasonable … As a presumptively innocent man detained in pretrial custody throughout 16 months of institutional delay, he suffered significant prejudice. while there is a strong societal interest in having serious charges such as these tried on their merits, there is also societal interest in ensuring that accused persons do not spend unreasonably lengthy periods of time in pretrial custody.”
D. Bullerwell – Defence Counsel