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R. v. Mastronardi, 2016 BCSC 1289

Cases of Note / 13.07.2016

[30]  I therefore disagree with the Crown’s submission that it is mandatory for the court to undertake a close examination of the various periods of delay in each case and to allocate same to one or more of the parties. In my opinion, McEwan J. was entirely correct when he stated that an overall delay of five years on a simple charge was “so far off the mark” that a stay of proceedings was warranted even though Mr. and Mrs. B. would otherwise have been convicted.

[31]  So too in the present case, the delay of five years and eight months in bringing Mr. M. to trial is so lengthy that it cannot be justified for any reason, the violation of his s. 11(b) Charter rights is “plain as day”, and the proceedings against him must by stayed.

[78] …While the interest of society in bringing those charged with criminal offences to trial is of great importance, so too is the right of an accused person, who is presumed to be innocent, until proven guilty, to be tried within a reasonable time.