Police breached accused man's right to counsel, Supreme Court rules

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says police breached a Quebec man's constitutional right to counsel by undermining the advice given by his lawyer.

The unanimous decision comes today in the case of Patrick Dussault, who was arrested in 2013 for murder and arson in Gatineau, Que.

Dussault spoke by telephone to a lawyer who offered to come to the police station to continue the consultation and he told his client not to talk to anyone in the meantime.

The lawyer did turn up, but police did not allow him to see Dussault.

Dussault pleaded guilty to the arson charge, but at his murder trial he was unsuccessful in trying to have an incriminating statement he made to police excluded from evidence on the basis he was denied his charter-protected right to counsel.

Dussault was convicted of murder but the Quebec Court of Appeal allowed his appeal, set aside the guilty verdict and ordered a new trial.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting