Regina v. Z.Z.Z. [Provincial Court – June 2016]

ZZZ was charged with communicating with a female under the age of 18 for a sexual purpose, an offence that carries a minimum punishment if convicted of 6 months imprisonment. ZZZ vehemently denied communicating or intending to communicate with a person under the age of 18 for a sexual purpose and retained Patrick Fagan to defend this prosecution.

As it turned out, there was no female under the age of 18. What there was instead is an adult female peace officer acting in an undercover capacity. The “sting” operation employed by the police involved an internet advertisement which clearly stated that the “female” was 18 years of age. The advertisement was accompanied by a photograph of a woman who turned out to be in her 20’s.

The police, acting in an undercover capacity, orchestrated a meet with ZZZ and during the course of ongoing dialogue purportedly made reference to the “fact” that the female in question was under the age of 18 years. These were, at best, veiled references which failed to dispel the original impression created by the internet advertisement.

During the course of trial proceedings Patrick Fagan cross examined the primary investigating officer (the female detective posing as the fictitious underaged female’s “pimp”) concerning various aspects of the case including precisely what was said between ZZZ and the detective during the course of their meeting. In direct examination by the Crown the detective gave an account of that conversation that supported the case for the prosecution; the problem with the detective’s testimony in this regard, however, was that (as revealed during the course of Patrick Fagan’s cross examination) it turned out to be untrue. The detective attempted to explain the profound difference between her testimony in direct examination and cross-examination by asserting that she was “confused” but . . . the damage to the case for the prosecution had been done and the seeds of reasonable doubt planted.

Bottom Line: After due consideration of the relevant legal principles and admissible evidence the learned Provincial Court Judge entered a verdict of not guilty.

Patrick Fagan

Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.

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