OPP officer charged with perjury, criminal negligence

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OPP officer charged with perjury, criminal negligence

Postby Thomas » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:14 pm

OPP officer charged with perjury, criminal negligence causing bodily harm in connection to ATV crash in Dawn-Euphemia

An OPP officer faces perjury and criminal negligence charges following an investigation by Ontario's police watchdog into an ATV crash in Dawn-Euphemia last summer.

Members of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested OPP Const. Sean Coughlan Friday after SIU director Tony Loparco determined charges should be laid against the officer following the agency's investigation into the crash.

Coughlan has been charged with two counts of perjury, two counts of obstructing justice, and one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and obstructing a police officer, according to an SIU release Friday.

Coughlan was released from custody Friday on an undertaking given to a peace officer. He is expected to appear in Sarnia court Feb. 28.

All of the charges laid against Coughlan stem from a collision last June when Coughlan was working at Lambton OPP's Petrolia detachment.

On the evening of June 22, 2016, the SIU says, a 24-year-old man was driving an ATV when he was involved in a collision with a vehicle and suffered serious injuries.

After the crash, Lambton OPP reported at the time an officer on patrol that night had come across a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed eastbound on Bilton Line in Dawn-Euphemia.

The officer then continued the patrol and discovered an ATV already rolled over into the south ditch of Bilton Line, police said at the time.

The ATV driver – who was lying on the roadway – had life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital, according to police.

OPP technical traffic collision investigators were called to the scene of the crash. Bilton Road, between Annett and Kerry roads, was closed for several hours to allow for an investigation into the cause of the collision.

In its press release Friday, the SIU stated it will not be making any further comments about the case in the interests of ensuring a fair trial for the accused.

The SIU is an arm's-length agency that investigates reports involving police that result in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

http://www.theobserver.ca/2017/02/03/op ... n-euphemia

http://www.lfpress.com/2017/02/03/opp-o ... n-euphemia
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Police watchdog charges southern Ontario police officer

Postby Thomas » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:16 pm

Police watchdog charges southern Ontario police officer with perjury, criminal negligence

Charges relate to ATV crash in June that injured 24-year-old man. The Special Investigations Unit declined to release details.


A southern Ontario OPP officer has been charged with perjury and criminal negligence in connection with an ATV crash in June, the province’s police watchdog said Friday.

The charges are related to an ATV crash that happened north of Chatham-Kent, in the Dawn-Euphemia area, on the evening of June 22, 2016.

The 24-year-old man who was driving the ATV was seriously hurt in the collision, the Special Investigations Unit said.

The officer, who worked at the Lambton County Petrolia OPP detachment, is charged with one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, one count of obstructing a peace officer, two counts of perjury and two counts of obstructing justice.

Spokesperson Monica Hudon said the SIU won’t release any more details on what happened or what the OPP officer is specifically alleged to have done as the case is now before the courts.

Hudon declined to say when the SIU began investigating the case.

The crash happened on Bilton Line, in the Dawn-Euphemia Township, local news site CKReview reported the next day.

OPP said, at the time, an officer patrolling the road at around 8:30 p.m. saw a vehicle moving eastbound at a high speed. When the officer followed, they found an ATV rolled over into a ditch and the driver lying on the roadway, CKReview reported.

It’s unclear if the officer from the reports is the one now facing charges from the SIU.

OPP Const. Sean Coughlan was arrested Friday by the SIU, and released on an undertaking given to a police officer. He’ll appear in court in Sarnia on Feb. 28.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/0 ... gence.html
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OPP OFFICER CHARGED AFTER DAWN-EUPHEMIA ATV CRASH

Postby Thomas » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:20 pm

A Lambton OPP officer has been charged after an ATV crash back in June in Dawn-Euphemia.

Officials with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says Const. Sean Coughlan was working at the Lambton County Petrolia Detachment at the time of the incident.

The SIU investigation revealed that in the evening hours of June 22, 2016, a 24-year-old man was operating an all-terrain vehicle. Sometime later, the man was involved in a motor vehicle collision and sustained serious injuries.

As a result of the SIU investigation, Coughlan is now facing one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, one count of obstruct peace officer, two counts of perjury, and two counts of obstruct justice.

Const. Coughlan was arrested today by members of the SIU and subsequently released on an undertaking given to a peace officer.

The officer is required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Sarnia on February 28.

The SIU will make no further comment in consideration of the fair trial interests.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General.

http://sydenhamcurrent.ca/2017/02/03/op ... atv-crash/
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SIU charges OPP officer with 6 counts arising from collision

Postby Thomas » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:21 pm

SIU charges OPP officer with 6 counts arising from June 2016 collision

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - A provincial police officer is facing six charges arising from a collision last year between a vehicle and an all-terrain vehicle in Dawn-Euphemia, Ont., north of Chatham-Kent.

The Special Investigations Unit says a 24-year-old man was operating an ATV on the evening of June 22, 2016, and suffered serious injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle.

The police watchdog agency says Const. Sean Coughlan was arrested Friday following an investigation.

The SIU says Coughlan is charged with one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and obstructing a peace officer, and two counts each of perjury and obstructing justice.

Coughlan was released and is to appear in court in Sarnia, Ont., on Feb. 28.

The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

http://www.pentictonherald.ca/news/nati ... b1305.html

http://www.citynews.ca/2017/02/03/siu-c ... collision/
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OPP officer facing 6 charges, SIU says

Postby Thomas » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:24 pm

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A provincial police officer is facing six charges arising from a collision last year between a vehicle and an all-terrain vehicle in Dawn-Euphemia, Ont., north of Chatham-Kent.

The Special Investigations Unit says a 24-year-old man was operating an ATV on the evening of June 22, 2016, and suffered serious injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle.

The police watchdog agency says Const. Sean Coughlan was arrested Friday following an investigation.

The SIU says Coughlan is charged with one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and obstructing a peace officer, and two counts each of perjury and obstructing justice.

Coughlan was released and is to appear in court in Sarnia, Ont., on Feb. 28.

The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

By The Canadian Press

http://www.sachem.ca/news-story/7101550 ... -siu-says/
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Constable faces charges of perjury, obstructing justice

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:00 pm

The case of an OPP officer facing perjury and criminal negligence charges following an investigation by Ontario's police watchdog into a June 2016 ATV crash was adjourned Monday to March 28.

The adjournment, that did not require OPP Const. Sean Coughlan to appear in court, will permit ongoing discussions between the Crown and defence lawyers.

Members of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested Coughlan after SIU director Tony Loparco determined charges should be laid against the officer following the agency's investigation into the crash.

Coughlan has been charged with two counts of perjury, two counts of obstructing justice, and one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and obstructing a police officer, according to an SIU release.

All of the charges laid against Coughlan stem from a collision last June when the police constable was working at Lambton OPP's Petrolia detachment.

On the evening of June 22, 2016, the SIU says, a 24-year-old man was driving an ATV when he was involved in a collision with a vehicle and suffered serious injuries.

After the crash, Lambton OPP reported at the time that an officer on patrol that night had come across a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed eastbound on Bilton Line in Dawn-Euphemia.

The officer then continued the patrol and discovered an ATV already rolled over into the south ditch of Bilton Line, police said at the time.

The ATV driver - who was lying on the roadway - had life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital, according to police.

OPP technical traffic collision investigators were called to the scene of the crash. Bilton Road, between Annett and Kerry roads, was closed for several hours to allow for an investigation into the cause of the collision.

The SIU is an arm's-length agency that investigates reports involving police that result in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

http://www.theobserver.ca/2017/02/28/co ... ng-justice
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Trial of police officer charged in ATV crash begins

Postby Thomas » Tue May 08, 2018 3:09 pm

SARNIA – Two versions of a June 2016 collision will be presented to jurors in the case of a local OPP officer charged with criminal negligence.

Summaries of both versions were presented to jurors Monday as OPP Const. Sean Coughlan’s trial opened in Sarnia Superior Court.

Justice John Desotti cautioned jurors these summaries by the Crown and Coughlan’s defence lawyer are not evidence.

On June 22, 2016, a 24-year-old man riding an ATV suffered facial fractures and a brain injury after a collision on a Dawn-Euphemia road in the southeast corner of Lambton County. He spent two months in hospital, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Coughlan was charged in February 2017 following a Special Investigations Unit investigation.

The ATV rider will testify the OPP cruiser struck him from behind, causing him to lose control, Crown attorney David Friesen said during his summary.

Witnesses also will testify they saw the cruiser apparently chasing the ATV. OPP policy prohibits pursuit of ATVs due to the risk of harm to the ATV rider.

An expert will testify damage on the cruiser is consistent with the damage to the ATV.

Coughlan lied to another officer about the collision in order to protect himself, Friesen said.

“There is an alternative version,” said defence lawyer Phillip Millar, who will present evidence supporting that representation.

Coughlan was doing his duty as an officer when he came upon the collision scene, Millar said. He had been drawn to investigate by a cloud of dust on a gravel road.

A defence expert will testify there was almost no chance of contact between the cruiser and the ATV, neither of which were examined until months after the collision, Millar said.

Blood samples obtained through a search warrant also will show the ATV rider had a zero blood-alcohol level. Coughlan had smelled alcohol, so he sought the blood sample, Millar said.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

http://lfpress.com/news/local-news/tria ... ash-begins
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Court: Injured ATV rider's dad testifies at OPP officer's tr

Postby Thomas » Sun May 13, 2018 3:32 pm

Something else contributed to his son's serious injuries besides an ATV accident, said a man testifying at the trial of an OPP officer charged with criminal negligence.

SARNIA — Something else contributed to his son’s serious injuries besides an ATV accident, said a man testifying at the trial of an OPP officer charged with criminal negligence.

Skid marks at the accident made it look possible the OPP cruiser hit the ATV being driven by his son, Chad Tunks testified.

OPP Const. Sean Coughlan was charged in February 2017 with criminal negligence and perjury following an Special Investigations Unit investigation of the June 22, 2016 accident.

A jury trial in Sarnia Superior Court began Monday.

Edward Labadie, 25, of Bothwell was injured when he was thrown from an ATV when it went off a Dawn-Euphemia road in the southeastern corner of Lambton County.

Labadie suffered facial fractures and a brain injury. He spent two months in hospital, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Labadie testified Wednesday he underwent 45 hours of surgery and has six plates in his head.

The brain injury has left Labadie struggling to complete simple tasks like cutting the lawn and making a grocery list, said Tunks.

Labadie testified he had been speeding away from the cruiser when he felt a jolt as if the ATV’s left rear tire had been smashed into.

After that he couldn’t control the ATV and it went off the road, said Labadie.

Tunks went to the accident scene early the next morning and saw skid marks close to the point where the ATV left the road.

Defence lawyer Phillip Millar told Tunks the skid marks had been created by OPP accident investigators, who had been on the scene just after midnight and were not there when Tunks arrived at 6 or 7 a.m. on June 23.

No evidence from the OPP investigators has yet been presented.

His son also looked beat up based on numerous facial injuries, Tunks had told investigators. There were no other injuries or marks on his body.

Tunks searched the scene looking for a rock or stick that could account for the facial injuries, but found nothing.

Labadie had been wearing a full-face helmet with a small crack in the chin area. After the accident the crack area was a full break.

An OPP officer found the helmet about 10 metres away from where the injured Labadie was sitting. It was the same area where one shoe was found.

After gathering information from area residents who saw the cruiser and ATV, Tunks called the SIU, the provincial police watchdog that started an investigation.

An OPP sergeant who was at the scene testified he was sure he told Coughlan about the potential for SIU involvement, but doesn’t recall any comments by Coughlan. “I would be hard pressed to find any officer not having a small measure of concern about SIU notification,” said Sgt. Sam Poole.

Both Labadie and Tunks acknowledged there is a lawsuit against the OPP.

Tunks said he is not a party to the lawsuit and his role in it is being Labadie’s father.

“I speak on Eddy’s behalf,” said Tunks.

Labadie said the statement of claim alleging he was beaten is based on his belief the accident did not account for his injuries.

“Something happened after. I don’t know what it was,” Labadie testified Wednesday.

Area residents have testified at the trial, saying they saw both vehicles speeding.

Testimony from the witnesses varied regarding the distance between the vehicles. According to witnesses they were as close as one to two car lengths, or as far apart as two minutes of drive time.

At the accident scene, Labadie was arrested for impaired driving based on slurred speech, an alcohol odour and admission he had been drinking, according to the testimony of an officer at the scene.

A blood sample taken before Labadie was taken to a London hospital by air ambulance showed a zero blood-alcohol level.

The sample was taken two-and-a-half hours after the accident.

It is possible his blood-alcohol level was more than zero at the time of the accident due to the body’s ability to eliminate alcohol at a rate of 10 to 20 milligrams per hour. The legal limit for driving is 80 milligrams.

Based just on the elimination rate, his blood-alcohol rate at the time of the accident could have been as high as 45 milligrams, forensic toxicologist Marie Elliot said during her testimony.

In his testimony, Labadie denied he had been drinking.

A OPP officer who accompanied Labadie to hospital in an ambulance testified Labadie told a paramedic he had been drinking beer at a friend’s house.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

http://lfpress.com/news/local-news/fath ... ns-vehicle
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No evidence of ATV-cruiser collision, OPP sergeant says

Postby Thomas » Sun May 13, 2018 3:33 pm

SARNIA — An OPP sergeant called to a serious ATV collision was looking to see if the situation passed what he called “the BS test.”

Sgt. Sam Poole, saying it’s his nature to be thorough, always applies his own critical eye to see if what he is being told matches up with a scene.

He was testifying Friday during the Superior Court jury trial of an OPP officer charged with criminal negligence and perjury in relation to the collision.

OPP Const. Sean Coughlan was charged in February 2017 following a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigation of the June 22, 2016, collision. Edward Labadie, 25, of Bothwell was seriously injured when he was thrown from an ATV that veered off a Dawn-Euphemia road in the southeastern corner of Lambton County.

Labadie suffered facial fractures and a brain injury, spending two months in hospital, according to an agreed statement of facts.


Labadie testified Wednesday the ATV was struck by the cruiser, causing it to leave the road. Poole testified Friday Labadie said at the scene he did not know the OPP cruiser was behind him.

Poole testified he asked Coughlan at the scene what happened.

Coughlan, Poole testified told him he was a kilometre away from a dust cloud he saw on a rural road that he believed was created by a speeding vehicle. Coughlan claimed he followed the vehicle in an attempt to catch up but did not know it was an ATV, Poole said.

It would be a violation of OPP policy to pursue an ATV due to safety concerns for the ATV driver. As well, any off-road vehicle can turn into a farm field, preventing a cruiser from following.

Poole described the non-pursuit policy as a little frustrating.

Speeding to catch up with a vehicle that may be stopped, however, is routine, he said. If driving conditions are safe, officers can close the distance between a cruiser and a vehicle, Poole said.

Closing that distance allows officers to obtain a licence plate number, allowing for a record check to determine if the vehicle should be stopped.

Poole testified he saw no damage on the rear of the ATV, adding the vehicle also did not have side mirrors. Without mirrors, it is difficult to see what is behind when the driver is wearing a helmet, Poole testified.

Labadie was wearing a full-face helmet.

Information from the scene led Poole to believe there was no pursuit, which occurs when a vehicle does not stop for police when signalled by flashing lights and sirens. Coughlan did not activate his lights or siren.

Among the other information considered by Poole was Labadie’s comment that he did not know a cruiser was behind him.

Area residents earlier testified they saw both vehicles speeding, but varied widely regarding the distance between the vehicles. OPP collision investigators were called to the scene when Poole learned Labadie’s condition was determined at hospital to be life-threatening. Fatalities or life-threatening collisions are routinely investigated by OPP experts.

That OPP collision report has not yet been presented as evidence, but evidence collected was used by an SIU collision expert. SIU collision reconstructionist Glenn Code started testifying Friday and will continue Monday.

Code did not get to the scene until July 15, 2016. The SIU investigation did not started until July 11 after the police watchdog agency was contacted by Labadie’s father, Chad Tunks.

Tunks testified he collected information from area residents before calling the SIU.

In his mind, the situation on June 22 had not met the threshold for SIU notification, Poole testified.

Evidence there had been a collision between the cruiser and the ATV would have changed that, Poole said.

The trial continues Monday.

http://lfpress.com/news/local-news/offi ... rd-labadie
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Coughlan trial: Expert's report challenged

Postby Thomas » Tue May 15, 2018 2:23 pm

Expert testimony that concluded a police cruiser struck an ATV was repeatedly challenged Monday as Const. Sean Coughlan’s criminal negligence trial entered its second week.

Coughlan, a Lambton OPP officer, is charged with criminal negligence and perjury following a June 22, 2016, incident where ATV driver Edward Labadie was seriously injured, suffering facial fractures and a brain injury that required a two-month hospital stay.

Coughlan was charged in February 2017 following an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit, an arm’s-length civilian oversight agency that looks into circumstances involving police that result in serious injury, allegations of sexual assault or death.

Coughlan has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The officer denies striking Labadie’s ATV from behind with his cruiser, saying instead he arrived at the collision scene while investigating a cloud of dust on the gravel road.

Based on a comparison of marks found on the cruiser with the ATV’s left rear tire, there was contact between the two vehicles, SIU collision expert Glenn Code testified Monday.

“A very minor bump … very quick,” said Code, whose testimony came during the continuation of a jury trial that started May 7 in Sarnia Superior Court.

Reflecting the minor nature of the “bump,” there was no recording by the cruiser’s air-bag deployment module of a speed reduction of eight kilometres per hour in speed during a 150-millisecond time period. Any speed reduction above that threshold would have been recorded by the module.

The mark comparison was done three weeks following the incident, which happened on a Dawn-Euphemia road in the southeastern corner of Lambton County. Following the incident, there had already been repairs to the ATV while the cruiser had returned to the road.

Code found a crease in the cruiser’s plastic bumper that happens when it is pushed in and bounces back. The crease was consistent with the height, shape and dimensions of the ATV tire. After the SIU investigators had lined up the ATV’s tire with the marks on the cruiser, there was a “eerie silence,” Code said.

“The evidence was so strong it couldn’t be anything else (besides contact between the two),” Code said about the reaction.

While concluding there was contact, Code did not testify the bump caused the ATV to lose control and roll into the ditch, possibly end over end.

Defence lawyer Phillip Millar, however, pointed Code to a section of his report that stated there was contact between the vehicles before the ATV lost control and went into the ditch.

Code told Millar he was not saying the contact caused Labadie to lose control.

“I don’t know how the accident occurred,” Code said.

Code agreed with Millar’s suggestion it was possible the ATV went off the road because it was speeding and hit a ripple in the gravel road. That was the conclusion of an OPP collision expert who examined the scene on the night of the crash.

The OPP expert had not examined the scene with the information a cruiser may have been involved, said Code, who had interviewed the OPP expert.

Millar continued to question Code about his report linking the alleged contact between cruiser and ATV to the ATV landing in the ditch.

After Code again rejected the suggestion his report concluded the alleged contact caused the ATV to enter the ditch, Justice John Desotti interjected, saying the report did seem to make that simple conclusion.

Millar also questioned Code about a statement in the report that suggested the position of an ATV tail light lens found on the road was consistent with it coming off the ATV while still on the road. The placement of the tail light lens was consistent with contact between the two vehicles, but he had no evidence it came off as the result of a collision, Code said.

An examination of the two vehicles in November 2016 at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto found no evidence of a transfer of material, such as paint, from one vehicle to the other

The Crown finished the presentation of evidence Monday. Millar has the choice of calling evidence or not.

http://lfpress.com/news/local-news/coug ... challenged
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OPP trial: Driver error caused crash, says expert

Postby Thomas » Wed May 16, 2018 4:12 pm

Evidence from three collision experts are likely issues in lawyers' submissions to jurors in the trial of an OPP officer charged in a serious-injury accident.

Evidence from three collision experts are likely issues in lawyers’ submissions to jurors in the trial of an OPP officer charged in a serious-injury accident.

Submissions by Crown and defence lawyers are set for Thursday leading to the judge’s instructions to jurors and the beginning of their deliberations. It is uncertain if deliberations will begin before the weekend.

OPP Const. Sean Coughlan is charged with criminal negligence and perjury in relation to the June 22, 2016 incident when ATV driver Edward Labadie was seriously injured. Coughlan was charged in February 2017 following an SIU investigation.

On Tuesday the defence called two collision experts.

Expert Kevin McClafferty testified Tuesday there was no compelling physical evidence of any contact between Coughlan’s cruiser and the ATV.

The lost of control that sent the ATV into a ditch was likely due to driver error, said McClafferty in opposition to a SIU collision expert’s testimony.

SIU expert Glenn Code testified Monday that based on a comparison of marks found on the cruiser’s bumper and the ATV’s left rear tire there was contact between the two.

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Jury's choice in OPP trial: Cop doing his job or breaking th

Postby Thomas » Mon May 21, 2018 11:26 pm

Jury's choice in OPP trial: Cop doing his job or breaking the law?

SARNIA — Jurors in the trial of an OPP officer charged with seriously injuring an ATV driver and lying about it could start deliberations Tuesday.

OPP Const. Sean Coughlan is charged with criminal negligence and perjury in relation to the June 22, 2016 incident when ATV driver Edward Labadie was seriously injured. Coughlan was charged in February 2017 following an investigation by Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit.

Jurors heard three hours of submissions by Crown and defence lawyers Thursday in Sarnia Superior Court. Justice John Desotti will deliver his jury instructions Tuesday leading to the start of deliberations.

“I could go on for six hours about everything I find ridiculous about this prosecution,” said defence lawyer Phillip Millar.

Coughlan was doing what a good police officer should, Millar said, by following a speeding vehicle creating a cloud of dust on a rural road in the southeastern corner of Lambton County. Coughlan told his superiors he had been trying to close a gap with the vehicle, but did not know it was an ATV due to the dust, Millar said, referring to a statement by Coughlan.

It is a violation of OPP policy to pursue an ATV.

Coughlan was following a vehicle on the gravel road when he came upon the upside down ATV and Labadie laying face down, according to his statement.

The statement is entirely believable based on the evidence, Millar asserted, adding that if jurors believe it to be possible, they have a reasonable doubt and must acquit Coughlan.

An SIU collision expert testified there was a collision between the cruiser and the ATV, based on a mark found on the cruiser bumper weeks later. There is no evidence of a collision that jurors can rely on, Millar said.

The crease was consistent with the height, shape and dimensions of the ATV tire, making the evidence so strong it couldn’t be anything else besides contact between the vehicles, said SIU collision expert Glenn Code.

The defence’s collision expert, Kevin McClafferty, testified the crease was insufficient to show contact between the vehicles. McClafferty said the tire would have left vertical marks, not the horizontal crease.

Labadie was driving recklessly, attempting to flee the officer and his driving caused the accident, Millar said. In support of that contention Millar cited Labadie’s testimony that he had fled police in the past and that he believed there were a lot of bad cops.

Immediately following the accident, there is no evidence that Labadie said anything about Coughlan causing the accident.

“If he was run off the road, he (Labadie) would have been screaming bloody murder,” said Millar.

Area residents testified the cruiser and ATV were separated by one to three car lengths or as much 30 seconds to two minutes of travel time.

Millar said for jurors to determine the circumstances of the crash they would have to patch together these observations.

“You can’t guess him into a conviction. You have to be sure,” said Millar.

Crown lawyer Peter Scrutton said the chase started on a paved road where there was no dust.

Scrutton called it a mystery cloud of dust that, according to Coughlan’s description, must have been like a tornado.

Area residents testified there was no dust, as asserted by Coughlan’s statement.

“There is no dust, at least that is meaningful,” said Scrutton.

The cruiser’s recorded data indicated it was doing 93 kilometres per hour in a 50-kilometre zone on a paved road. Labadie sped down the same paved road before turning onto the gravel road.

“The chase is on. . . . He was not in performance of his duties. He was chasing an ATV that he is not allowed to do,” said Scrutton.

In speaking to the collision issue, Scrutton said the collision cannot be proven 100 per cent but jurors don’t have to agree there was a collision — only that Coughlan’s actions contributed to what happened.

Scrutton maintained it was obvious the chase contributed to Labadie losing control of the ATV.

Coughlan’s speed was proven by the GPS device that relays the data to a central dispatch centre that tracks the position of every OPP cruiser. Coughlan’s top speed was 135 km/h.

That data shows Coughlan going through two stop signs but at reduced speed. At one sign the speed may have been as fast as 45 km/h. Scrutton rejected the description of that as a rolling stop.

Scrutton told the jurors Coughlan knew he had been chasing an ATV and he knew Labadie was seriously injured, so the lying started.

“He was close to getting away with it, if not for Chad Tunks, Eddie’s dad,” said Scrutton.

Tunks went to the scene to find out what happened and people were telling him things so on July 12, 2016, he called the SIU, Scrutton said.

The contention the SIU call was part of an effort by Tunks to get a payoff for himself is offensive, said Scrutton.

A $3-million lawsuit against the OPP was started.

In his final comments, Scrutton said Coughlan lied, but the public relies on police officers to tell the truth.

Labadie, Tunks and the community are the victims of Coughlan’s lie, Scrutton said.

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OPP officer not guilty of criminal negligence

Postby Thomas » Fri May 25, 2018 2:22 am

Tears, hugs and sighs of relief came to family and friends of an OPP officer who was acquitted Tuesday in a 2016 ATV crash that seriously injured a man on a rural Lambton County road.

Const. Sean Coughlan had been charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and perjury following the June 22, 2016 ATV crash that caused major injuries to Edward Labadie, a Bothwell man.

“I finally get my life back,” Coughlan said outside the Sarnia courthouse Tuesday night.

Now, Coughlan will move on without the cloud that he has been under, said defence lawyer Phillip Millar.

Jurors started deliberations late Tuesday afternoon after a full day of listening to instructions from the judge. The clearly drained jurors delivered their verdict four hours later.

Coughlan was charged in February 2017 following an investigation by Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, with seriously injuring the ATV driver and lying about his involvement.

In making their decisions, Superior Court John Desotti had told jurors “common sense will be your guide.” Desotti had also briefly reviewed Crown and defence submissions that were made during the two-week trial:

Coughlan was doing what he should as a good cop by following a speeding vehicle creating a cloud of dust on a rural road in the southeastern corner of Lambton County, Millar said in his closing submissions. Coughlan told his superiors he had been trying to close a gap with the vehicle but did not know it was an ATV due to the dust, Millar said, referring to a statement by Coughlan that was a trial exhibit.

In his closing submissions, Crown lawyer Peter Scrutton said the chase started on a paved road where there was no dust.

The cruiser’s recorded data indicated it was doing 93 kilometres per hour in a 50-kilometre zone on a paved road. The injured ATV rider, Labadie, had sped down the same paved road before turning onto the gravel road.

Labadie suffered facial fractures and a brain injury that had left him in critical condition. He had testified during the trial that he had been bumped by the cruiser before going off the road.

The cruiser’s top speed as determined by GPS recordings was 135 km/h. The position of every OPP cruiser is automatically and continually recorded.

“The chase is on. . . . He was not in performance of his duties. He was chasing an ATV that he is not allowed to do,” Scrutton had argued.

It is a violation of OPP policy to chase an ATV, court heard.

http://www.theobserver.ca/2018/05/22/op ... negligence
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OPP officer found not guilty of criminal negligence, perjury

Postby Thomas » Fri May 25, 2018 2:23 am

A jury found a Lambton County OPP officer not guilty of criminal negligence and perjury Tuesday night after about 4 1/2 hours of deliberation.

SARNIA — Tears, hugs and sighs of relief came to family and friends of an OPP officer who was acquitted Tuesday in a 2016 ATV crash that seriously injured a man on a rural Lambton County road.

Const. Sean Coughlan had been charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and perjury following the June 22, 2016, crash that caused major injuries to Edward Labadie, a Bothwell man.

“I finally get my life back,” Coughlan said outside the Sarnia courthouse Tuesday night.

Now, Coughlan will move on without the cloud that he has been under, defence lawyer Phillip Millar said.

Jurors started deliberations late Tuesday afternoon after a full day of listening to instructions from the judge. The clearly drained jurors delivered their verdict four hours later.

Coughlan was charged in February 2017 following an investigation by Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, with seriously injuring Labadie and lying about his involvement.

In making their decisions, Superior Court Justice John Desotti had told jurors “common sense will be your guide.” Desotti had also briefly reviewed Crown and defence submissions that were made during the two-week trial.

Coughlan was doing what he should as a good cop by following a speeding vehicle creating a cloud of dust on a rural road in the southeastern corner of Lambton County, Millar said in his closing submissions.

Coughlan told his superiors he had been trying to close a gap with the vehicle but did not know it was an ATV due to the dust, Millar said, referring to a statement by Coughlan that was a trial exhibit.

In his closing submissions, Crown lawyer Peter Scrutton said the chase started on a paved road where there wasn’t any dust.

The cruiser’s recorded data indicated it was doing 93 kilometres per hour in a 50 km/h zone on a paved road. The injured ATV rider, Labadie, had sped down the same paved road before turning onto the gravel road.

Labadie suffered facial fractures and a brain injury that had left him in critical condition. He had testified during the trial that he had been bumped by the cruiser before going off the road.

The cruiser’s top speed as determined by GPS recordings was 135 km/h. The position of every OPP cruiser is automatically and continually recorded.

“The chase is on. . . . He was not in performance of his duties. He was chasing an ATV that he is not allowed to do,” Scrutton had argued.

It is a violation of OPP policy to chase an ATV, court heard.

http://lfpress.com/news/local-news/opp- ... ce-perjury
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