George Mitchell Allgood v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Saskatchewan) (Criminal) (By Leave)
(Publication ban in case)
Criminal law - Evidence, Confession, Admissibility, Abuse of process.
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Criminal law – Evidence – Confessions – “Mr. Big” confessions – Admissibility – Reliability – Prejudicial effect – Abuse of process – Whether Court of Appeal erred in declining to hold admissions obtained by “Mr. Big” should not have been admitted into evidence – Whether Court of Appeal erred in reviewing facts of case rather than ordering new trial.
George Allgood was charged with first degree murder and attempted murder. Respectively, the victims were the mother of Mr. Allgood’s child and her new partner. Mr. Allgood made confessions to those crimes in the context of a “Mr. Big” operation. During his dealings with the undercover officers, Mr. Allgood was exposed to violence on two occasions. He witnessed an abducted man who supposedly owed the organization money being assaulted. The abducted man was then taken down a trail, into a park by an undercover officer who, when out of sight, discharged his weapon, using live ammunition and returned alone. During the second scenario, Mr. Allgood accompanied an undercover officer to intimidate a woman (another officer) who purportedly knew about a murder committed by another member of the organization. The woman and her young daughter were threatened and her necklace was pulled from her neck by the officer. Mr. Allgood later confessed to the shootings at issue in this case during the interview with Mr. Big. At trial, Mr. Allgood testified that fear compelled him to falsely confess to Mr. Big. The officers testified that the purpose of the violent scenarios was not to intimidate Mr. Allgood, but rather to show that the organization approved of violent acts being done to non-members, including women.
Mr. Allgood was convicted of first degree murder and attempted murder by a judge sitting alone in the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, who held the confession obtained by police was admissible evidence. Applying the analysis in R. v. Hart, 2014 SCC 52,  2 SCR 544, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal found the probative value of the confession to outweigh its prejudicial effect and there was no abuse of process by police, unanimously dismissing Mr. Allgood’s appeal.
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