Wiretap Evidence Excluded at Homicide Trial

Counsel Dirk Derstine and Stephanie DiGiuseppe were recently successful in establishing that extensive wiretaps and room probes obtained as a result of a Part VI Authorization were unconstitutionally obtained. Justice Gerald Thomas Taylor made findings that the behaviour of the affiant was either in bad faith or grossly negligent. His Honour further found that the affiant mislead the issuing justice by ommitting material facts relevant to the informant’s credibility and reliability.  His Honour concluded that, by withholding relevant information, the affiant either intentionally or negligently portrayed the credibility and reliability of the police informant in more favourable light than was warranted in the circumstances. Justice Taylor found that the police conduct in this case amounted to a serious breach of s. 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  His Honour excluded all of the evidence from the accused’s homicide trial pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Charter.

R. v. Hall – Ruling Re: Admissibility of Wiretap Evidence

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Charges Stayed in Drug Trafficking Case

The Crown stayed charges against Magda’s client on the first day of trial. This case dealt with a drug warrant executed by TPS officers from 51 Division. The defence was going to ask the Court to stay the charges due to excessive force used by members of the search team and the unreasonable manner of search that involved the destruction of property. Magda was going to argue that TPS officers breached her client’s Charter rights by repeatedly beating her client, killing his pets and vandalizing his property during the search of the residence.

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Jury Acquittal in Cab Driver Stabbing

Ariel’s client was acquitted of Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault and Robbery stemming from a brutal attack on a Peterborough taxi driver on Halloween night 2011.  The jury found the main Crown witnesses to be incredible and the evidence of identity lacking.


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Bank Robbery Charges Stayed At Preliminary Hearing

The Crown this week stayed charges against Magda’s client in a string of bank robberies after her cross-examination of two key police witnesses. Large gaps were uncovered in the police surveillance.

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Acquittal in Loaded Firearm Case

Magda’s client was acquitted this week of possession of a loaded firearm. Her Client was arrested on the 401 after a high-speed police chase that resulted in a crash. A gun was found on the shoulder of the highway in the general area of the crash. The arresting officer testified that during the pursuit he saw an object fly out of the vehicle. After cross examination of the Crown witnesses, Magda argued that the there was no way to tell whether the object that the officer saw coming out the vehicle was the gun that was found. The evidence as to where the gun was found was vague and a lot of people had access to the scene before its seizure.

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Client Charged with Two Loaded Handguns and a Large Quantity of Crack Cocaine Acquitted

Magda’s client was charged with possession of two loaded handguns, a large quantity of ammunition and crack cocaine as part of Project Kingfisher. The police executed a warrant and found the items hidden in a bedroom where he was sleeping. The guns were hidden and there were four other adults in the apartment, all denied knowledge of the guns. Magda argued that proximity to the items is not enough to ground a
conviction; a number of people had access to the bedroom. The Court dismissed all charges.

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Client Charged with First Degree Murder Freed After Preliminary Hearing

Magda secured a discharge for her client charged with first degree murder after a lengthy preliminary hearing. In this identification case, the Court agreed that there was insufficient evidence for the matter to proceed to trial. The client was reunited with his family.

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Judge Makes Excessive Force Finding Against the Toronto Police Service

Magda argued that two officers form the Toronto Police Service used excessive force in executing an arrest warrant for Attempt Murder on her client. The Court agreed, finding that the actions of the officers were not motivated by fear and that they treated her client like an animal and exhibited poor judgement.

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Murder Trial Concludes

Magda along with co-counsel spent half of 2012 in trial defending a client charged with first-degree murder. At the conclusion of the trial the Crown and both co-accused pointed the finger at our client, arguing that it was him that planned and carried out the murder, masterminding the whole enterprise. The jury disagreed, convicting both co-accused of first-degree murder, which carries with it a mandatory 25 year sentence before one can apply for parole. Our client was convicted of a lesser role in the enterprise.

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Star gets action: Crown must now report police who lie


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