headed back to trial
Court denies city lawyer’s appeal
By Terri Saunders
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
“(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.