Child lur­ing charges against for­mer Labrador po­lice of­fi­cer stayed

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - EDITORIAL - BY CORY HURLEY

A for­mer Hope­dale Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice of­fi­cer is no longer fac­ing child lur­ing charges af­ter a pro­vin­cial court judge rul­ing last week.

Ian Kaulback was ar­rested for an al­leged child lur­ing Feb. 8, 2013 — an in­ves­ti­ga­tion which was handed over to the Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary and took 10 months to an­a­lyze ev­i­dence and file a re­port. He pleaded not guilty at the time.

He was charged with a sec­ond count of child lur­ing July 9, 2014; 17 months af­ter the in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan.

Judge John Joy, in a rul­ing Feb. 17 in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay, de­ter­mined Kaulback’s char­ter rights had been vi­o­lated due to an un­rea­son­able amount of time to go to trial.

Ac­cord­ing to the judge’s de­ci­sion, it took 18 months for the case’s dis­clo­sure to be pro­vided to the de­fence. Joy also noted it took Kaulback nearly a year to re­tain a lawyer, mostly due to his at­tempts to main­tain Nick Avis as his coun­sel. He even­tu­ally ap­plied to the Le­gal Aid Com­mis­sion and was ap­pointed an at­tor­ney.

A trial date of Nov. 4-6, 2015 was even­tu­ally set, but the de­fence filed for a stay of pro­ceed­ings be­fore­hand.

The to­tal amount of time be­tween his ar­rest and the sched­uled trial was 33 months, but the call­ing of ev­i­dence and ini­tial coun­sel sub­mis­sions in­creased that time to 41 months — which Joy called a bet­ter es­ti­mate of the time it would have taken to con­clude a trial.

Rea­son­able time lim­its for a trial are eight to 10 months, with an ad­di­tional six to eight months if the al­leged of­fences are in­dictable and whether there is a pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry and a Supreme Court trial. Con­sid­er­ing a num­ber of fac­tors that could de­lay court pro­ceed­ings, these pa­ram­e­ters are of­ten stretched, ac­cord­ing to the judge, in­clud­ing up to 30 months for Supreme Court tri­als.

Kaulback’s case was ini­tially sched­uled for pro­vin­cial court trial, re-elected to Supreme Court, and again re-elected to pro­vin­cial court within a span of about 18 months. No pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry was held, even though one was sched­uled.

Crown at­tor­ney Trina Simms ar­gued these de­fence ac­tions re­quired the ap­pli­ca­tion of the 30-month pre­sump­tive ceil­ing. The de­fence lawyer Jef­frey Slade coun­tered the 18-month win­dow is ap­pro­pri­ate in this case.

A lone se­nior sys­tems an­a­lyst with the Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary took 10 months to an­a­lyze all of the elec­tronic and com­puter equip­ment po­lice seized. Joy re­ferred to this as a sit­u­a­tion of “in­ad­e­quate in­sti­tu­tional re­sources.”

“The ob­vi­ous les­son here is that the gov­ern­ment must pro­vide an ad­e­quate num­ber of prop­erly trained and ex­pe­ri­enced ex­perts in this field with the nec­es­sary equip­ment and of­fices in or­der to com­plete this type of work in a shorter space of time,” Joy said.

The judge also fac­tored the de­lays through the en­tire case with in­ad­e­quate num­ber of courts, judges, clerks, and coun­sel in Labrador. These as in­sti­tu­tional de­lays are fore­see­able and pre­ventable, he said.

There were ex­traor­di­nary cir­cum­stances in the case, ac­knowl­edged Joy, in­clud­ing com­pas­sion­ate leave for both the lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor due to a death in his fam­ily and the crown at­tor­ney due to a med­i­cal emer­gency with a fam­ily mem­ber.

The judge said the se­ri­ous­ness of two child lur­ing charges leads to a pub­lic in­ter­est in see­ing such cases come to trial in a timely man­ner. Pro­ceed­ing un­der in­dict­ment, Kaulback

Judge John Joy, in a rul­ing Feb. 17 in Happy Val­leyGoose Bay, de­ter­mined Kaulback’s char­ter rights had been vi­o­lated due to an un­rea­son­able amount of time to go to trial.

would have faced a min­i­mum six months to a max­i­mum of 14 years, if con­victed.

“Timely jus­tice is one of the hall­marks of a free and demo­cratic so­ci­ety,” Joy stated. “This case is an ex­am­ple of how de­lay works to the detri­ment of ev­ery­one. Con­versely, timely jus­tice ac­crues to the ben­e­fit of all.”

Joy ul­ti­mately de­ter­mined that eight months of the de­lay was at­trib­uted to the de­fence and 25 months was Crown re­lated. While that is below the 30-month ceil­ing for the Novem­ber 2015 trial, the judge es­ti­mated a trial con­clu­sion of June 2016 — sur­pass­ing that 30month ceil­ing for in­sti­tu­tional de­lay by three months and well be­yond the 14-18 months thresh­old for Crown de­lay.

No mat­ter what rea­son­able ceil­ing Joy de­ter­mined was ap­pro­pri­ate, the judge said Kaulback has the right to a stay of pro­ceed­ings.


Ian James Kaulback waits in court dur­ing an un­dated ap­pear­ance re­lated to child lur­ing charges he faced.

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