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Improper police conduct

Andre Lecuyer awaits the start of his trial Friday morning on charges stemming from an alleged home invasion, all of which were dismissed when the Crown called no evidence.
Andre Lecuyer awaits the start of his trial Friday morning on charges stemming from an alleged home invasion, all of which were dismissed when the Crown called no evidence.

Andre Lecuyer says the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary unfairly put a target on his back and plans to hold the police accountable for being prosecuted on charges that were dismissed Friday.

Lecuyer and another man, Kirby Spence, were arrested Feb. 1, 2014, one day after a man claimed his home had been invaded by two men, who tied him up and robbed him of cash and electronics.

The four charges filed against Lecuyer were break and entry, unlawful confinement, being disguised while intending to commit an indictable offence and theft.

Lecuyer was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary inquiry was held in June 2015, but pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prior to the trial scheduled for Friday, he made an application to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, requesting that the evidence against him be excluded from trial.

Lecuyer’s lawyer, Robby Ash, had argued that a warrantless search of the perimeter of Lecuyer’s home in Massey Drive was based on a hunch and not on any reasonable and probable grounds.

Lecuyer was subsequently arrested without a warrant, which Ash also argued was not based on any reasonable or probable grounds. The defence also argued warrants used to search Lecuyer’s home were not based on reasonable and probable grounds.

Last week, Justice Brian Furey agreed the searches and arrest had violated Lecuyer’s Charter rights. The judge quashed the warrants, which he said were partly based on Lecuyer’s “criminal history and suspicions of it,” and ruled any evidence gleaned from them would be inadmissible at trial.

Furey, in his written decision on the case, noted there was no evidence presented to satisfactorily explain the actions of the police, despite the Crown submitting the police acted in good faith during the investigation.

“Society expects that a criminal allegation will be adjudicated on its merits,” Furey stated in his written decision. “... Society also expects police officers to act properly and be vigilant with respect to an individual’s Charter rights.

Friday morning, Crown attorney John Noseworthy said he would be calling no evidence at the trial. Ash then requested a directed verdict from Furey, who obliged by dismissing all the charges against Lecuyer.

“I knew from Day 1 the negligence of the police was at fault here,” Lecuyer said after court adjourned Friday morning.

Lecuyer said video surveillance obtained by the RNC from a business across the street from where the alleged break-in happened did not show enough evidence to reasonably pin the crime on him. Further, the video footage’s time stamp indicated the surveillance was taken between 30 and 45 minutes after the police had been called to respond.

Lecuyer said he intends to hold the RNC accountable for his arrest and prosecution. He would not say what his next steps would be, but did not rule out civil action.

“They’ve come after me with malice since I stepped foot in Newfoundland (three years ago)," he said.

He was satisfied with the judge’s ruling and the dismissal of the charges against him.

“I’ve never done a single thing wrong … their police tactics are negligent and they need to reform themselves because it’s getting ridiculous ... with the RNC,” said Lecuyer.

After court, Noseworthy said there was little other evidence in this case besides that which was gained from the quashed search warrants.

He would not give an opinion on the shortcomings of the police investigation or whether any lessons were to be learned for future investigations.

Spence, the co-accused in the home invasion case, is set to go to trial in September. He has no current applications before the courts alleging his Charter rights were also violated.

Noseworthy said the Crown will be reviewing the case against Spence in light of the Lecuyer decision to determine what impact this might have on prosecuting Spence.

The Western Star asked the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary to comment on the judge’s decision and the dismissed charges against Lecuyer, but no response has been provided as of Friday afternoon, other than an email referring the matter to the Crown attorney’s office for comment.

************

(Earlier story)

No evidence was called by the crown in the matter of Andre Lecuyer this morning, leading to the case being dismissed.

Facing home invasion charges, Lecuyer appeared in Corner Brook Surpreme Court.

Lecuyer’s trial on charges stemming from a 2014 home invasion was due to start  Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last week, however, Justice Brian Furey granted an application by Lecuyer to quash the search warrants and declare the evidence gathered through them inadmissible.

The Crown says it will now review case of Kirby Spence, co-accused with Lecuyer, who is set to be tried in September.

Lecuyer and another man, Kirby Spence, were arrested Feb. 1, 2014, one day after a man claimed his home had been invaded by two men, who tied him up and robbed him of cash and electronics.

The four charges filed against Lecuyer were break and entry, unlawful confinement, being disguised while intending to commit an indictable offence and theft.

Lecuyer was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary inquiry was held in June 2015, but pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prior to the trial scheduled for Friday, he made an application to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, requesting that the evidence against him be excluded from trial.

Lecuyer’s lawyer, Robby Ash, had argued that a warrantless search of the perimeter of Lecuyer’s home in Massey Drive was based on a hunch and not on any reasonable and probable grounds.

Lecuyer was subsequently arrested without a warrant, which Ash also argued was not based on any reasonable or probable grounds. The defence also argued warrants used to search Lecuyer’s home were not based on reasonable and probable grounds.

Last week, Justice Brian Furey agreed the searches and arrest had violated Lecuyer’s Charter rights. The judge quashed the warrants, which he said were partly based on Lecuyer’s “criminal history and suspicions of it,” and ruled any evidence gleaned from them would be inadmissible at trial.

Furey, in his written decision on the case, noted there was no evidence presented to satisfactorily explain the actions of the police, despite the Crown submitting the police acted in good faith during the investigation.

“Society expects that a criminal allegation will be adjudicated on its merits,” Furey stated in his written decision. “... Society also expects police officers to act properly and be vigilant with respect to an individual’s Charter rights.

Friday morning, Crown attorney John Noseworthy said he would be calling no evidence at the trial. Ash then requested a directed verdict from Furey, who obliged by dismissing all the charges against Lecuyer.

“I knew from Day 1 the negligence of the police was at fault here,” Lecuyer said after court adjourned Friday morning.

Lecuyer said video surveillance obtained by the RNC from a business across the street from where the alleged break-in happened did not show enough evidence to reasonably pin the crime on him. Further, the video footage’s time stamp indicated the surveillance was taken between 30 and 45 minutes after the police had been called to respond.

Lecuyer said he intends to hold the RNC accountable for his arrest and prosecution. He would not say what his next steps would be, but did not rule out civil action.

“They’ve come after me with malice since I stepped foot in Newfoundland (three years ago)," he said.

He was satisfied with the judge’s ruling and the dismissal of the charges against him.

“I’ve never done a single thing wrong … their police tactics are negligent and they need to reform themselves because it’s getting ridiculous ... with the RNC,” said Lecuyer.

After court, Noseworthy said there was little other evidence in this case besides that which was gained from the quashed search warrants.

He would not give an opinion on the shortcomings of the police investigation or whether any lessons were to be learned for future investigations.

Spence, the co-accused in the home invasion case, is set to go to trial in September. He has no current applications before the courts alleging his Charter rights were also violated.

Noseworthy said the Crown will be reviewing the case against Spence in light of the Lecuyer decision to determine what impact this might have on prosecuting Spence.

The Western Star asked the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary to comment on the judge’s decision and the dismissed charges against Lecuyer, but no response has been provided as of Friday afternoon, other than an email referring the matter to the Crown attorney’s office for comment.

************

(Earlier story)

No evidence was called by the crown in the matter of Andre Lecuyer this morning, leading to the case being dismissed.

Facing home invasion charges, Lecuyer appeared in Corner Brook Surpreme Court.

Lecuyer’s trial on charges stemming from a 2014 home invasion was due to start  Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last week, however, Justice Brian Furey granted an application by Lecuyer to quash the search warrants and declare the evidence gathered through them inadmissible.

The Crown says it will now review case of Kirby Spence, co-accused with Lecuyer, who is set to be tried in September.

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