Brendan Paterson v. Her Majesty the Queen

(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Canadian charter (Criminal) - Criminal law, Evidence, Admissibility, Confession.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — Criminal law — Evidence — Admissibility — Confessions — Voluntariness — Voir dire — Unreasonable search and seizure — Whether Court of Appeal erred by failing to hold that Crown must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, voluntariness of accused’s statements given to police at door of his residence, before those statements may be considered in Charter voir dire — Whether Court of Appeal erred in ruling that warrantless entry and search of accused’s home was justified under “exigent circumstances” exception of s. 11(7) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act — Whether Court of Appeal erred in not excluding seized evidence under s. 24(2) of Charter due to police breach of mandatory Criminal Code provisions relating to Form 5.2 Report — Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C. 1996, c. 19, s. 11(7) — Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 489.1.

Brendan Paterson was convicted of nine offences: two counts of possession of illicit drugs, three counts of possession of illicit drugs for the purpose of trafficking and four counts of unlawful possession of firearms. He was sentenced to four-and-a half years.

At the trial, a Charter voir dire was held to address Mr. Paterson’s objection to the admission of the evidence seized by police as a result of their entry into and search of his apartment. The trial judge dismissed the application to exclude evidence.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal found no reason to interfere with the findings of the trial judge. It dismissed the appeal from conviction.