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R v B (2015)

  • Clayton Rice, K.C.

Three assailants burst through the back door of M’s apartment and assaulted him using pepper spray and a knife. M sustained a head injury and multiple cuts and bruises. The assailants made off with various pieces of electronics. M told the police that the beating was over a drug debt and they should know one of the assailants as he had been arrested a couple of days previously. He fingered B who was arrested again a week later in an unrelated investigation. B was charged with robbery and assault with a weapon. The police seized a surveillance video on the same night as the break-in from a nearly convenience store showing B wearing a different coloured shirt. The police also did a data base search of police records and found the report of B’s previous arrest just as M said there would be. Then the state’s case went down hill. M picked out two men from a photo lineup saying a photograph of B could be one of his attackers. And about a month later M was accosted on the street by the man he owed money to. He knew the man was not B because he had been denied bail and was in custody at a remand centre. Mr Rice brought a bail review application armed with the new information. The bail justice commented in the ruling that based on the evidence as a whole no reasonable jury could convict. B was granted bail and the prosecutor later withdrew the charges on the trial date.

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