36472 Brendan Paterson v. Her Majesty the Queen
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — Criminal law — Evidence
Brendan Paterson was convicted of nine offences: two counts of possession of illicit drugs, three counts of possession of illicit drugs for the purpose of trafficking and four counts of unlawful possession of firearms. He was sentenced to four-and-a half years.
At the trial, a Charter voir dire was held to address Mr. Paterson’s objection to the admission of the evidence seized by police as a result of their entry into and search of his apartment. The trial judge dismissed the application to exclude evidence.
On appeal, the Court of Appeal found no reason to interfere with the findings of the trial judge. It dismissed the appeal from conviction.
36610 Carson Bingley v. Her Majesty the Queen
Criminal law — Evidence — Expert evidence
Police were called after the applicant, Mr. Bingley, struck a car. The officer noted signs of impairment. The results of a roadside test revealed a blood alcohol concentration well below the legal limit and inconsistent with the observed indicia of impairment. A Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”) also administered standard sobriety tests to Mr. Bingley at the scene. When he failed the sobriety tests, Mr. Bingley was charged with driving while drug impaired. He admitted that he had smoked marijuana and taken two Xanax in the previous 12 hours. A urinalysis revealed the presence of cannabis, cocaine and Alprazolam. Mr. Bingley was tried for the offence of driving while drug impaired. He was acquitted but a summary conviction appeal led to the acquittal being overturned and a new trial ordered. The basis for overturning the acquittal was that the trial judge had failed to consider the cumulative effect of the evidence. As indicated, at the first trial, Mr. Bingley was acquitted. This despite the DRE’s evidence, which the first judge found could be received without a Mohan voir dire. At the second trial, a second judge found that the DRE evidence could not be received without a voir dire. On the voir dire, however, the judge determined that the DRE evidence was inadmissible and therefore, acquitted Mr. Bingley again. And, again, the Crown brought a summary conviction appeal. The summary conviction appeal judge allowed the Crown appeal and ordered yet a third trial. Mr. Bingley appealed in turn, but unsuccessfully.