This was an appeal by the Crown against the decision of a Provincial Court judge, in the context of a trial confirmation hearing, to stay two charges against the accused, Mr. Achim Lohse.
Mr. Lohse was charged with one count of causing unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to an animal (a cat) contrary to s. 446(1)(a) of the Criminal Code, and with one count of causing or permitting an animal to be or to continue to be in distress, contrary to s. 24(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
A stay of proceedings was entered on 26 May 2009 when the prosecutor had been directed by a judge of the provincial court to be available at 1:30 p.m. by telephone for a trial confirmation hearing. The prosecutor was delayed and was not available at 1:30 p.m. as required. The provincial court judge, on his own motion, stayed the proceedings. The judge did not give Crown Counsel an opportunity to explain his nonappearance or the Crown’s perceived non-compliance with orders previously made.
The Court here noted that it was evident that the Provincial Court judge was annoyed with the prosecutor and probably annoyed that the matter of the trial confirmation hearing was dragging out to the extent that it was. Pointing out that the error was the action of the Provincial Court judge to have effectively come to the decision that he was going to stay the proceedings without input or explanation from Crown counsel.
The Court allowed the appeal and remitted the matter to the Provincial Court for trial.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: British Columbia