Muskoka OPP sergeant's conduct gives rise to concern at impaired canoeing trial againDefence levels many charter applications alleging breach of rights
OSHAWA — Did an OPP sergeant follow appropriate and legal procedure when dealing with David Sillars on the evening of April 7, 2017? Or did he have complete and utter disregard for the law that evening?
That is what the Crown and defence counsel continue to argue in an Oshawa courtroom this week in the ongoing trial of David Sillars, 39, of Etobicoke.
Sillars is charged with several drinking and boating relating offences after the canoe he was in capsized on the Muskoka River in the late afternoon of April 7, 2017. Sillars’ passenger, eight-year-old Thomas Rancourt, was swept over High Falls and drowned as a result.
On Monday, Nov. 19 — Day 12 of the trial — Crown and defence argued whether Sillars’ rights were infringed upon, as outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These arguments stemmed from numerous charter applications filed by defence alleging breaches, including search or seizure violations, arbitrary detainment, not being promptly informed of the reasons of his arrest and not being properly informed of his rights to counsel.
All of the defence’s charter applications relate to Sgt. Greg Allison’s conduct on April 7, 2017, or his conduct during the trial, where he admitted to the court he had breached a court order by speaking about the case and his testimony to others involved, including Const. Mike MacDonald, the officer in charge of the case and Allison’s subordinate.
“It is our ultimate submission that he is (an) entirely incredible, unreliable, dishonest witness who had no regard for the court process, no regard for court orders, no regard for police regulations and no regard for the oath,” said defence lawyer Jonathan Rosenthal late Monday morning.
“It is our ultimate position that his evidence is so troubling that it’s impossible to rely on anything that he says that benefits the Crown’s case without strong evidence and corroboration.”
Rosenthal referred to this conduct as criminal, citing the charge of disobeying an order of the court under Section 127 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Rosenthal continued and said Allison not only gave contradictory evidence based on his own testimony, but contradicted the evidence provided by other witnesses. He further said the inconsistencies in Allison’s notes — where events are off by a single minute in his police notes and his alcohol influence report — bring rise to the concern of credibility and reliability.
The defence filed 21 pages of contradictory evidence provided by Allison, though Justice Peter West said he didn’t agree with every characterization presented by counsel.https://www.muskokaregion.com/news-stor ... ial-again/