New & Notable: Justice avoid the penitentiary

Daniel McCue was sought by the police.  Shortly after they found him McCue fled from them. The chase took them through several back yards but he was eventually apprehended. A search of the route of the chase led to the discovery by the police of a loaded nine-millimeter semi-automatic handgun. 


The accused was charged with numerous firearm offences including two breaches of separate firearm prohibitions. He was also charged with a mischief to property from earlier the same day unrelated to the possession of the gun. After a trial, the accused was sentenced to two years less a day in the reformatory having been given credit on a 1:1 basis for 367 days of custody prior to sentencing. The Crown launched a sentence appeal.

R v McCue 2012 ONCA 773 raises a few interesting questions. One is whether it is appropriate for a court to adjourn a case to allow an in-custody accused to accumulate further “dead time” in order to avoid a penitentiary-length sentence. Another is how this offence should be characterized.

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Current & Curious: Why is the accused out in the hall anyway?

DB had a niece.  His niece had a daughter, SP, the complainant.  DB was alleged to have sexually assaulted SP on one occasion and interfered with her on another.  The charges arose out incidents that occurred in the summer of 2007 including an incident that occurred when they were at a cottage.  SP alleged that on that occasion she had gone for a ride with DB in the bush and he performed oral sex on her.  DB testified at trial and denied the allegations.  He was cross-examined by the Crown.  He was convicted.  He appealed: 2012 ONCA 301.


On appeal DB argued, inter alia, that his trial was unfair because he was excluded from the courtroom.  During cross-examination DB was excluded briefly while counsel and the trial judge discussed an area of examination that was contentious. 

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