12. Regina v. H.C. [Provincial Court of Alberta, Medicine Hat – April, 2012]
Tough Case. Client charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine as a consequence of two hand to hand sales to the same undercover officer. Through cross examination of the undercover officer we managed to pull a proverbial “rabbit out of the hat” by exposing highly problematic investigative methodology germane to the critical issue of “identification”. Although the undercover officer boldly pointed to our client in court as the person from whom he purchased cocaine that testimony was ultimately rendered worthless through cross examination. Bottom Line: We killed this prosecution by way of the entry of a Stay of Proceedings is a legal term used to refer to a direction by a Crown prosecutor or a Judge to the Clerk of the Court to terminate a criminal prosecution. Click for more information..
The undercover officer’s testimony regarding identification was tainted due to his viewing of a single photograph of HC just prior to taking the stand. In fact, it was discovered during Mr.Fagan’s cross-examination of the officer that he was still carrying the photograph in his back pocket.
The extent to which the viewing of a single photograph can undermine and undercover officer’s testimony is highlighted in a case defended by Mr.Fagan back in 2004 — Regina v D.R.L. In that case, four separate RCMP undercover officers pointed to our client in court as the person who sold them speed. Through cross-examination it was established that all four officers had viewed a single photo of our client before taking the stand.
Result: Verdict of not guilty.[line]
For an official transcript of the judgement click here.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.