A Kelowna man who was to be on trial for assault, after an alleged domestic abuse situation, will not have a criminal record after charges against him were stayed as a result of “unreasonable delays.”
Jeffrey Maclean was charged with two offences after an incident on November 27, 2021, involving alleged intimate partner violence.
Maclean was arrested on the night of the incident and was charged with assault causing bodily harm and resisting or obstructing a peace officer.
His trial was scheduled to begin on August 28, 2023, about 21 months after the day he was arrested.
However, on August 17, one week before the start of the trial, Maclean submitted an application to the court. He stated that the amount of time it took to bring his case to trial and reach a conclusion, was unreasonable.
He submitted that since the time from the day of his arrest to the start of the trial exceeds 18 months, the charges against him should be stayed.
Barring exceptional circumstances, in Canada the Jordan decision states that the time from when charges are laid to when a decision is made by a judge should not exceed 18 months.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that “any person charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time.”
In order for charges to be stayed, the delays must have been caused by the Crown, not the defence.
The judge ruled in favour of Maclean, saying that if the Crown had “not failed in its disclosure obligations,” the trial would have likely concluded within the 18-month time limit.
The two charges against Maclean were judicially stayed, meaning that they may never be revisited.