Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ontario Court of Appeal restores custodial sentence for court officer who assaulted a young person in his custody

In R. v. Byrne, 2009 ONCA 134, the Ontario Court of Appeal restored a 90-day custodial sentence for a court officer with the Toronto Police Service who assaulted a teenaged girl whom he was transporting to court. The trial judge had concluded that in addition to a breach of trust, the officer falsely arrested the victim and then colluded with his partner, a trainee officer, to write a false report. He also tried to impede a subsequent police investigation.

The Court of Appeal relied on its earlier decision in R. v. Feeney, [2008] O.J. No. 4464 (C.A.). Feeney involved four court officers with the Toronto Police Service who were convicted of assaulting a prisoner in the cells of Old City Hall courthouse. The officers had viciously assaulted the victim after handcuffing and shackling him because he had spilled his juice on one of the officers. As in Byrne, the officers attempted to cover up what they had done including falsifying reports.

Posted by Professor Tanovich

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