R. v. Storrey  1 S.C.R. 241: Arbitrary detention or imprisonment -- Accused arrested for aggravated assault and detained 18 hours before charge laid -- Accused kept in custody for the purposes of conducting an identification parade -- Whether accused's arrest lawful -- Whether accused arbitrarily detained -
Present: Lamer, Wilson, La Forest, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin JJ.
ON APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR ONTARIO
Constitutional law -- Charter of Rights -- Arbitrary detention or imprisonment -- Accused arrested for aggravated assault and detained 18 hours before charge laid -- Accused kept in custody for the purposes of conducting an identification parade -- Whether accused's arrest lawful -- Whether accused arbitrarily detained -- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 9 --Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, ss. 450(1), 454(1).
Three Americans returning to Michigan were cut off by another vehicle as they approached the border near Windsor and were forced to stop. The driver and passenger of this vehicle got out and came over to the Americans' car. The driver punched one of the Americans while his passenger slashed all three of them with a knife. The victims gave to the police a general description of the assailants and of their vehicle -- a blue Ford, possibly a Thunderbird manufactured during the years 1973 to 1975. Two of the victims were later brought to the police station and, after reviewing some 800 photographs, selected 4 or 5 pictures of men who "looked like" the assailant with the knife. Significantly they both chose the photograph of one Darryl Cameron. Following an investigation, the police eliminated Cameron as a suspect. But the investigating officer's searches revealed that the appellant had been stopped on numerous occasions driving a 1973 blue Thunderbird, that he closely resembled Cameron and that he had a criminal record which included crimes of violence. A police bulletin was issued for his arrest on the charge of aggravated assault. The appellant was found six days later and arrested at 7:25 p.m. He was charged the next day at 1:44 p.m. The officer stated that the 18-hour delay in laying the formal charge was occasioned by the need to bring the victims to Windsor in order to conduct the identification parade which was the only method of identification available. At the line-up, the victims identified the appellant as their assailant. The police also found the ownership for a 1973 blue Thunderbird in the appellant's residence.
At trial, the judge found that the investigating officer had reasonable and probable grounds for the arrest but that the arrest was unlawful because it did not meet the criteria of s. 450(2) of the Criminal Code. He concluded that the arrest was arbitrary and in violation of s. 9 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and ordered a stay of proceedings. The Court of Appeal allowed the Crown's appeal and ordered a new trial. This appeal is to determine whether the appellant's arrest and detention violated s. 9 of the Charter.
Held: The appeal should be dismissed.
The appellant's arrest was lawful and proper. Section 450(1) of the Code is applicable to this case and not s. 450(2). Section 450(1) requires that an arresting officer must subjectively have reasonable and probable grounds on which to base the arrest. Those grounds must, in addition, be justifiable from an objective point of view. That is to say, a reasonable person placed in the position of the officer must be able to conclude that there were indeed reasonable and probable grounds for the arrest. On the other hand, the police need not demonstrate anything more than reasonable and probable grounds. Specifically they are not required to establish a prima facie case for conviction before making the arrest. In this case, the trial judge's finding that the investigating officer had reasonable and probable grounds to make the arrest was amply supported by the evidence. The reasonable grounds could be justified subjectively as well as objectively.
An arrest which is lawfully made does not become unlawful simply because the police intend to continue their investigation after the arrest. Here, the police had reasonable and probable grounds to arrest the appellant and there was nothing improper about their intention to continue the investigation. Neither that intention nor the continued investigation made the arrest unlawful.
The appellant's detention for 18 hours before the charge was laid, primarily for the purpose of furthering the police investigation, did not constitute an arbitrary detention. The identification parade was the fairest means as well as the sole practical means of identification. Since the appellant was arrested in the evening, it is unlikely that the victims, who lived outside the jurisdiction, could be found and brought to the line-up before the next morning. The appellant was brought before a justice of the peace and charged immediately after the line-up. In these circumstances, the delay was not unreasonable and offended neither s. 454(1) of the Code nor s. 9 of the Charter.
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