In a powerful decision the Court of Appeal has dismissed the Crown’s appeal from the decision of Madam Justice Bruce staying proceedings against John Nuttall and Amanda Korody on the basis that they were entrapped as part of an undercover RCMP operation. The case began when the pair were arrested on July 1, 2013 and has proceeded through a jury trial and entrapment hearing in Supreme Court. That was followed by a 3-day appeal hearing in January 2018.
Pender Litigation’s Scott Wright acted as counsel for Ms. Korody in the case.
“Amanda and John were somewhat marginalized, vulnerable people, and suddenly their life was turned into this fantasy world,” said Wright. “It’s something they hope to move on from, but that’s not going to be easy or quick for them.”
Entrapment will exist when:
(a) the police provide an individual with the opportunity to commit an offence without reasonable suspicion or while acting mala fides, or
(b) although they have a reasonable suspicion or are acting in the course of a bona fide inquiry, they go beyond providing an opportunity and actually induce the commission of an offence
The Court of Appeal found that though police had a reasonable suspicion that Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody were engaged in criminal activity, the operation exceeded acceptable limits resulting in the police inducing the offences committed. “While criminal investigations may not be models of politeness and fair play, they are not “no holds barred”. There are still rules.”
Madam Justice Bennett held that, “the police went far beyond investigating a crime. They pushed and pushed and pushed the two defendants to come up with a workable plan. The police did everything necessary to facilitate the plan…the overall conduct of this investigation was a travesty of justice.”
The decision provides a lengthy review of the undercover operation as well as the law of entrapment. It can be found at 2018 BCCA 479.
A news story on the case can be found below.