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Judge rules certain evidence must be excluded from Corner Brook home invasion prosecution

Kirby Spence
Kirby Spence - The Western Star

The Crown has been dealt another setback in the complicated prosecution of two Corner Brook men accused of a violent home invasion nearly four years ago.

On Monday, Justice David Hurley of Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court rendered his decision in the matter of Kirby Spence, who was charged — along with Andre Lecuyer — with breaking into a man’s home, tying him up and robbing him of cash and property in late January 2014.

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Spence is set to go to trial, but had filed an application with the court to consider whether the investigation into the matter involved violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Hurley ruled there were violations of Spence’s rights in terms of some aspects of the investigation, and that evidence yielded from the investigation should be excluded from the trial.

Lecuyer had previously successfully argued his rights were violated as well, but that decision by Justice Brian Furey of the Supreme Court has since been overturned and a new trial has been ordered for Lecuyer.

Hurley, who said some aspects of the investigation into Spence were lawful, did not go into detail about his reasons for deciding Spence’s charter rights had been violated in certain regards.

His full written decision was still being edited by the judge’s staff and was not available as of deadline Monday.

Crown prosecutor Trina Simms said she will have to read the full decision before deciding where the prosecution can go from here.

The matter will next be called in the Supreme Court on Feb. 5.

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