Clients Released After Successful Bail Review

On January 10, 2014, B and T were seeking a review in the Superior Court of Justice of their detention order.  B and T were charged with production of marijuana etc.  The Crown reminded the court that these accused must show why their continued detention was not necessary as they were looking at a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.  Described as a million dollar grow operation, the Crown submitted that neither party should be released unless a significant cash deposit was made.  In his eyes, a significant amount was 50-75% of each surety’s life savings.  Neither Mr. B, nor Mr. T had a criminal record.  Their sureties were of limited means and unable to make cash deposits.  Both accused had zero savings, neither party having worked in years.

Mr. B’s surety was his sister, a single mother, who was willing to pledge $2,000 but the Crown wanted $15,000 as she had equity in her home.  Over the lunch break, Mr. B’s sister mulled it over and decided she would be willing to pledge the $15,000 as she had confidence in her brother.  This still was not enough for the Crown to consent to Mr. B’s release, as he wanted a cash deposit.  This was not possible because Mr. B’s sister lived pay cheque to pay cheque and the only equity she had was in her home.

Mr. T’s surety, a long-time family friend, was retired, supporting her adult son and living off a small pension and RRSP.  This was her third trip to run the bail hearing, which was three hours away from her home.  Each time she had to pay someone to drive her as she had no car.  She was only able to pledge $500 with no cash deposit as she would spend all of her pension and monthly RRSP cheque on rent and living expenses for her and her son.  Due to the fact that she was retired and the money in her RRSP slowly diminished each month and she would pay a hefty penatly if she took more money out sooner.

Ms. Carrington and Ms. Bristow fought tooth and nail with the Crown whose position reequiring a cash deposit was in their eyes unreasonable in the circumstances.  The Crown called these men a scourge to society, and submitted that they had not shown cause as to why they should be released.  Based on the fact the neither accused had ties to the community, the plan of supervision for Mr. B was insufficient and that the community be shocked if these men were released in the community with no cash deposits.

The judge agreed with both Ms. Carrington and Ms. Bristow that Mr. B and Mr. T had strong ties to the community as each was born and raised in Ontario and neither had money to anywhere else.  Mr. T in fact has a daughter in the area.  Justice Wilcox released both accused on bail with no cash deposits and with no onerous conditions – simply to live with their surety to possess drugs and to seek and maintain employment and/or education. 

Lisa Bristow can be reached at or at 416-598-5741 or at bristow@criminaltriallawyers.ca, and Jillian