Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sabastian Prosa: Defence seeks to have fatal drunk driving case stayed over lost evidence after a blood sample could not independently tested because the test tube was not properly sealed by the province’s forensic lab, Reporter Alyshah Hasham. The Toronto Star.

STORY: "Defence seeks to have fatal drunk driving case stayed over lost evidence," by reporter Alyshah Hasham, published by the Toronto Star on January 13, 2014.

SUB-HEADING:  "The alleged loss of a blood sample by the province-run lab is the basis for a defence motion to end prosecution of a fatal drunk driving case."

GIST: "Unable to have a blood sample  the defence lawyers for a man accused of killing a teen and her father in a head-on collision while driving the wrong way down Highway 427 are arguing the proceedings should be stayed. Sabastian Prosa, 21, had his Charter rights breached because he cannot properly mount a defence against 12 charges including impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death without the lost evidence, his lawyer Alan Gold argues in an application to have the charges stayed.........The Charter application is being heard as part of the judge-alone trial, with Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey expected to make a ruling at the end of the trial......... “As is expected to be heard in evidence at trial, the Applicant was in an environment on the evening of which would have left him open to the possibility of a substance being slipped into his drink without his knowledge. The Applicant is amnesic for the event and for a large portion of the evening,” the factum says. But when the lab in Pennsylvania received the package containing the sample, they discovered it had leaked in transit, the factum says. Gold alleges that employees of the CFS, a laboratory that is run under the umbrella of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, failed to properly package the sample for transport. An internal investigation by the CFS determined that the test tube was not properly sealed and the cap not checked in violation of the lab’s policy, court heard Tuesday.  The CFS, as the agency storing evidence for the case, was effectively acting as the agent of the police and Crown and has a responsibility to ensure the preservation of evidence, Gold argued in the factum. “How many other cases have been unknowingly affected by past negligence,” Gold said in the factum, questioning whether this is indicative of systemic problems. Janice Hellman, the quality assurance manager at CFS testified Tuesday that it is rare for the toxicology department to be asked to ship samples and this particular error only involved a few employees of the CFS. Those employees have been made to undergo training in CFS policies and additional measures have been introduced to ensure this does not happen again, she said. The trial continues."

The entire story can be found at:


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