The abuse of process, however, was not serious enough to warrant a stay of proceedings. The appeal was therefore dismissed. (archives)
A Winnipeg Police Service inspector violated the Charter rights of a suspect charged with child molestation, according to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The officer disparaged the suspect and her husband for their sexual orientation, the ruling says.
However, the court concludes that the abuse of process does not merit a stay of proceedings, given the seriousness of the charges against the man who was convicted of several charges related to the sexual assault of three of his nephews. husband by a Court of Queen's Bench judge in 2020.
During a 32-minute interrogation, which was essentially a monologue [by police officer Elton Hall] directed against the accused, the police officer made very aggressive remarks in an attempt to induce the suspect to break the silence, indicates the decision of the Court of Appeal.
As of March 2022, the officer in question, Elton Hall, was a senior detective with the Winnipeg Police Service's Major Crimes Unit. A spokesperson for the Police Department declined to define Elton Hall's current function. taken on the political beliefs of the suspect and her husband and downplayed the seriousness of sexual abuse the suspect allegedly suffered as a child.
The officer called the suspect's husband a fucking lunatic and said he would do anything to get the couple's children into state care. Elton Hall also called the suspect a fucking coward and alluded to the possibility of violence from the victims and their families.
Elton Hall also told the suspect: I'll say have fun in jail, but you'll probably [have fun].
During the trial, the policeman explained that he had consulted his superior and his partner about the use of this tactic which they did not often use, namely the very aggressive interview.
While this approach was offensive, rude and extremely rude, according to Judge Sadie Bond, Elton Hall had not denigrated the sexuality of the suspect and her husband.
However, the evidence to the contrary is considerable and, respectfully, common sense inferences could easily have been made without recourse to judicial knowledge, the Court of Appeal concluded instead.
Elton Hall's behavior constituted a serious breach of the expected standard and undermined the integrity of the justice system, according to the Court of Appeals decision written by Judge Karen Simonsen and released on July the 5th. Judges Holly Beard and Lori Spivak also sat for the hearing held on December 8, 2021.
“The interview was riddled with inappropriate innuendo of a sexual nature and denigration based on sexual orientation.
— Karen Simonsen
The ruling emphasizes that it provides a strong reprimand aimed at disassociating the justice system from the officer's actions.
It also seeks to make it clear that the police cannot conduct interviews in the manner undertaken in this case.
The court concludes, however, that the breach of procedure does not merit a stay of proceedings, given the seriousness of the charges against the man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Judge Sadie Bond then rejected the defendant's argument that he had been the subject of a breach of procedure.
Winnipeg Police Service declined to provide further comment as the matter may still be subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The defendant's lawyer did not respond to a request for information from Radio-Canada on this subject.