RCMP diverted attention from errors made during mass shooting investigation: lawsuit

HALIFAX — The spouse of the Nova Scotia mass shooter says she was charged with supplying ammunition to the killer because the RCMP wanted to deflect attention from mistakes made during their investigation.

In a lawsuit filed Oct. 21 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Lisa Banfield accuses the RCMP and the province's Public Prosecution Service of conspiring to stage a malicious prosecution that led to a "baseless and trumped-up charge."

The allegations have not been tested in court, and the federal and provincial attorneys general — both of whom are named in the suit — could not immediately be reached for comment.

The statement of claim goes on to allege the charge against Banfield, which was withdrawn in July after she completed a restorative justice process, was intended to create the appearance that the RMCP were doing something after a federal-provincial inquiry was established in July 2020.

As well, Banfield alleges the RCMP failed to inform her of her right to have a lawyer present when she provided recorded statements to the Mounties and walked them through her actions on the night of April 18-19, 2020.

The document concludes by arguing the charge was unlawful because the Mounties and the Crown failed to recognize that Banfield's partner had subjected her to life-threatening violence throughout their relationship.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press