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The Queen v. Michael M. (Cobourg)

The Facts: Michael M. owned and operated a home cleaning service. He was charged with stealing jewellery, cash and private financial records from over two dozen homes that his business was servicing. A disgruntled employee reported to police that Michael M. and two of his employees were stealing from customers, and selling the stolen goods. Police went to interview Michael M. at home and asked to have a “quick look” around the house. They found some of the stolen items in the basement and got a search warrant for the house and garage, where they seized a large amount of stolen property.

The Result: We successfully argued that the evidence should be excluded under sections 7 and 8 of the Charter of Rights because the police abused their authority by asking for a “quick look” around his home without advising him that he had the right to refuse or to consult a lawyer. The old saying that a “man’s home is his castle” is a cherished legal principle. Without the evidence, the Crown’s case collapsed and Michael M. was acquitted of all charges.

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