Durham Regional Crime Stoppers Inc., et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case) (Sealing order)


Criminal law - Evidence.


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Criminal law – Evidence – Privilege – Informants – Standing and jurisdiction – Remedies for breach of anonymity – Whether privilege attaches to anonymous communications made to Crime Stoppers – Whether Crown is prevented from disclosing contents of anonymous tip to the defence or the court – Whether trial judge may weigh and consider content of anonymous tip – If disclosure of tip was improper, what is the appropriate remedy?

XY is charged with second degree murder. At issue is the admissibility into evidence of a record of an anonymous call about the murder that was received by Durham Regional Crime Stoppers. Durham Regional Crime Stoppers asserts that its organization depends on a guarantee of anonymity therefore all records in its possession relating to any tips that it receives are subject to informer privilege. The trial judge held a voir dire into the admissibility of the record of the call. Durham Regional Crime Stoppers was permitted to appear at the voir dire. The Crown argued that XY was the caller therefore informer privilege did not apply. The Crown led evidence from the police investigation to support that argument. The trial judge held that the record of the call is not protected by informer privilege and admitted it as evidence.