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Leduc headed back to trial

Supreme Court denies city lawyer’s appeal

By Terri Saunders

Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 10:00

It took the Supreme Court of Canada less than 10 minutes Monday to determine a city lawyer should go back to trial on sexual assault charges.

With just eight words, a judge told Jacques Leduc his efforts to overturn an Ontario Court of Appeal decision handed down last fall had been in vain.

“The court has decided to dismiss the application,” was the sum total of the judgment by Judge Michel Bastarache, following a 40-minute motion hearing.

Leduc, 52, went on trial in January 2001, on charges he sexually assaulted a number of young boys in the 1980s and 1990s. The charges were stayed six weeks later when a judge determined Crown attorney Shelley Hallett deliberately withheld evidence from the defence.

In arguing against ordering a new trial, Philip Campbell, the lawyer representing Leduc, said Hallett wilfully withheld from the defence knowledge of contact between former city police officer Perry Dunlop and a witness in the case. Hallett did not reveal the Dunlop contact in an effort to aid her prosecution, he said.

Crown attorney John Pearson said the application to overturn the court of appeal ruling “is nothing but an attempt to breathe life into outrageous allegations (against Hallett).”

“(The application) should be laid to rest so the allegations (against Leduc) may be tried on their merit as soon as possible.”

Court also upheld an order by the Ontario Court of Appeal denying Leduc $300,000 in court costs. In the original trial, Judge James B. Chadwick ruled Leduc should be reimbursed the costs, but the ruling was later overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal.