Recent Cases


August 2017
Preliminary Inquiry- Ontario Court of Justice (St. Catharines)

Charges: Assault w/ a Weapon x4 (to wit, a gun)

Allegations: Client and co-accused attended a gentlemen’s club. Client started a verbal altercation with three other individuals as they made their way back to their car. Client and co-accused followed these individuals through the parking lot shortly before co-accused fired multiple shots into their car.

Evidence: On cross-examination, one of the victims agreed that Client stayed back and tried to get co-accused to stop shortly before the shots were fired.

Result: Charges withdrawn at the request of the Crown.

 

November 2016
Trial- Superior Court of Justice (Toronto)

Charges: Sexual Assault, Sexual Interference, Invitation to Sexual Touching

Allegations: Client alleged to have forced under age complainant to perform oral sex on him on multiple occasions.

Evidence: On cross-examination, numerous inconsistencies between what the complainant had stated in court and what she had reported on previous occasions were exposed.

Verdict (Judge alone): Not Guilty.

 

November 2016
Trial- Superior Court of Justice (Toronto)

Charges: Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon, Assault

Allegations: Client and co-accused were sharing a hotel room with a friend (a sex trade worker). After receiving a call from their friend, Client and co-accused attended the hotel room and proceeded to assault the complainant (her client). Client struck complainant in the face, while co-accused stabbed him four times.

Evidence:  On cross-examination, the complainant’s position that Client and co-accused initiated the physical confrontation was challenged. Further doubt was cast on the complainant’s version of events through the use of surveillance video, photographs (bloody foot prints) and cell phone records.

Verdict (Judge alone): Not Guilty.

 

October 2016
Trial- Ontario Court of Justice (Brampton)

Charges: Assault x2

Allegations: Client and complainant were boyfriend and girlfriend. Complainant alleged that Client had assaulted her on two occasions. 

Evidence: On cross-examination, numerous inconsistencies in the complainant’s version of events were brought to light.

Verdict: Not Guilty.

 

March 2016
Trial- Superior Court of Justice (Toronto)

Charges: Assault x2, Sexual Assault x2, Utter Threat

Allegations: Client and complainant were husband and wife. Complainant made several historical allegations of Client assaulting, sexually assaulting and threatening her.

Evidence: The complainant’s version of events was challenged on cross-examination. Some of the complainant’s responses further impacted her credibility.

Verdict: Not Guilty.

 

September 2014
Trial- Ontario Court of Justice (Scarborough)
 

Charges: Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon

Allegations: Client alleged to be a party to a stabbing. Client and co-accused knocked on victim’s door, trying to get him out of his apartment. Shortly after the victim went out into the hallway and could not get back into his apartment, three other co-accused arrived; two of whom attacked the victim and stabbed him several times.

Evidence: Victim agreed on cross-examination that Client was not involved in the attack.

Verdict: Not Guilty.

 

April 2014
Trial- Ontario Court of Justice (Kitchener)

Charges: Robbery, Obstruct Police

Allegations: Client and co-accused hid in the bathroom while their friend, a sex trade worker, entertained the complainant (her client) in the other room. Very shortly after the complainant’s arrival, Client and co-accused exited the bathroom and demanded that the complainant give them his money and leave the hotel room. When stopped by police, Client gave a fake name before fleeing.

Evidence: On cross-examination, the complainant admitted to consuming dozens of alcoholic beverages prior to contacting the sex trade worker. The complainant agreed that he often lost track of time when he consumed that much alcohol- and left an hour unaccounted for which Mr. Mazin submitted may have allowed for the agreed upon sexual activity to take place.

Verdict: Not Guilty (Robbery). Client sentenced to 8 days time served for Obstruct.

 
3-Year Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Gun Trafficking Found Unconstitutional (Oshawa)

Charges: Gun Trafficking, Trafficking Cocaine

Allegations: Client was selling increasing quantities of crack cocaine to an undercover police officer. Client advised officer that he could also get him a gun, but kept putting off said transfer for one reason or another. Client arrested and charged with Trafficking Cocaine and Gun Trafficking by offer, the latter of which carried a Mandatory Minimum Sentence of three years imprisonment.

Evidence/Submissions: The court found that Client never had a gun to sell, nor did he intend to go through with the transfer. Against this backdrop, sentencing Client to such a term of imprisonment would amount to cruel and unusual punishment contrary to s. 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Reasonable hypothetical cases involving even less morally culpable accuseds would lead to even more grossly disproportionate sentences.

Result: Section 99(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is unconstitutional. Client sentenced to one year instead of the three years mandated by law.

 

Click the links below for media coverage of the decision:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/06/ontario-judge-strikes-down-mandatory-mininum-sentence-for-first-offence-gun-trafficking/

http://www.cp24.com/news/ontario-judge-strikes-down-mandatory-minimums-for-firearms-trafficking-1.869077

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/06/oshawa-judge-rules-mandatory-gun-minimum-unconstitutional

My interview in Maclean’s Magazine re: Mandatory Minimums:

Another judge balks at mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes

 

 
November 2011
Charter Application (11b)- Ontario Court of Justice (Toronto)

Charges: Fraud over $5,000, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime over $5,000, Utter Forged Document

Allegations: Client accused of setting up a credit card in another individual’s name, periodically making minimum payments on the fraudulent credit card and transferring thousands of dollars to his bank account.

Application: Client’s constitutional right to trial within a reasonable time enshrined in s. 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was violated. The combined Crown and institutional delay of over 13 months was beyond constitutional limits.

Result: Charges stayed at the request of the Crown. Prior to the hearing, the Crown re-evaluated its case and found no reasonable prospect of conviction.

October 2011
Charter Application (s. 8)- Ontario Court of Justice (Scarborough)

Charge: Fail to Comply (Recognizance)

Allegations: Client was in the front passenger seat of his brother’s car. Police conducted a traffic stop due to an expired license plate tag. Upon further investigation, the officers discovered that Client was breaching his House Arrest.

Application: In questioning Client as to his identity, the police violated his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure enshrined in s. 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The investigation should have been limited to the driver of the vehicle.

Result: Charge withdrawn at the request of the Crown before commencement of trial.

April 2010
Trial- Superior Court of Justice (Toronto)
(Co-Counsel)

Charge: Sexual Assault.

Allegations: Client and Complainant were co-workers meeting up for a drink. Client invited Complainant back to his apartment, forced himself on her, penetrated her vagina and ejaculated on her blouse.

Evidence: Client made a video statement denying any sexual relations with Complainant. There was DNA evidence of Client’s semen on Complainant’s blouse. Client testified in court that he was nervous and afraid at the time of the statement and that Complainant gave him a “hand job” in his car against his will resulting in his semen on her blouse. Complainant testified that she went back to Client’s apartment voluntarily, engaged in some consensual kissing, but did not consent to anything beyond that.

Submissions/Defence Position: Complainant’s testimony that Client pinned her arms above her head with one arm, while removing both his pants and her pants with his other arm defied conventional wisdom. Complainant’s testimony that she had a cigarette with Client and hugged him good-bye afterwards was inconsistent with non-consensual sexual activity taking place. Even if Client’s evidence was rejected, Complainant’s version of events left reasonable doubt.

Verdict (Jury): Not Guilty.


June 2010
Trial- Ontario Court of Justice (Brampton)

Charges: Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, Assault with a Weapon, Uttering Death Threats, Fail to Comply (Recognizance).

Allegations: Client went back into his apartment after losing a fight. Client came back out with a machete and chased Complainants down the hall and into the courtyard. Client hit the fence with the machete screaming “I’m gonna kill you! I’m gonna fuck you up! I’m gonna cut you up!”.

Evidence: Five civilian witnesses testified that Client had the machete in his hand and was pursuing Complainants. On cross-examination, one witness admitted that one of the Complainants had “something in her pants” that “could have been a knife..could have been a club.” Though one witness testified that Client did threaten to kill one of the Complainants, the other witnesses testified that Client and Complainants were all basically just yelling and arguing back and forth. Client testified that he only grabbed the machete after losing a fight with one of the Complainants and seeing other Complainant with a knife in her hand.

Submissions: Self-defence could apply even if Client provoked the fight. After being beaten up by one of the Complainants, who outweighed him by about 50lbs, and seeing the knife in the other Complainant’s hand, detached reflection was not a luxury available to Client. While Client may have screamed profanities at Complainants, the evidence was clear that Complainants did the same to Client.

Verdict: Not Guilty (all charges).


June 2010
Bail Hearing- Ontario Court of Justice (Brampton)

Outstanding Charges: Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana), Possession of Property obtained by Crime, Possession of a Prohibited Firearm with Ammunition, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized, Careless Use of a Firearm, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose.

New Charges: Fail to Comply Recognizance, Obstruct Peace Officer.

Allegations- Reverse Onus: Client was on house arrest for serious gun and drug charges. Client was caught leaving a bar without his surety. Client gave the police a fake name when questioned. It was incumbent on Client to Show Cause why he should be released for a 2nd time.

Result: Surety Release. [All charges stayed at Preliminary Hearing in December]


December 2010- January 2011
Trial- Ontario Court of Justice (Toronto- Old City Hall)

Charges: Point Firearm, Use Firearm while Committing Indictable Offence, Assault, Utter Death Threat.

Allegations: Client and Co-Accused got into an argument with female Complainant during drive home from party. Client slams Complainant’s head into back of driver’s seat and chokes her. Client then jams a gun into Complainant’s neck while Co-Accused jams a gun into the back of her head. Client and Co-Accused threaten to kill Complainant and drop her in a lake.

Evidence: Complainant testified, contrary to her sworn video statement to police, that Client choked her after dragging her out of the car (as opposed to inside the car). On cross-examination, Complainant admitted that she gave a third version of events to another officer before giving her sworn video statement. On further cross-examination, Complainant eventually acknowledged that she was not sure if any gun was used at all.

Submissions: Complainant’s multiple versions of the same events exhibited a carelessness with the truth that would make it extremely dangerous to accept her evidence on any of the allegations facing Client, let alone the assertion that a gun was used.

Verdict: Not Guilty (all charges).


April 2011
Judicial Pre-Trial- Ontario Court of Justice (Toronto- Old City Hall)

Charges: Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Marijuana), Possession of Proceeds of Crime.

Allegations: Police Officers attended an apartment complex in response to gun shots fired in the parking garage. During their investigation, they entered a unit in which Client and one Co-Accused were present, along with, among other things, large quantities of marijuana.

Result: Charges stayed at the request of Crown.


June 2011
Withdrawal of Charges- Ontario Court of Justice (Oshawa)

Charges: Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence, Fraud over $5,000.

Allegations: Client and Co-Accuseds were involved in a conspiracy whereby they used fraudulent identification to open bank accounts and attempted to cash stolen cheques.

Disclosure Review/Judicial Pre-Trial: Disclosure did not provide any evidence of clear link between Client and Co-Accuseds who were more directly involved in conspiracy at banks. After Judicial Pre-Trial, Crown Attorney agreed to withdraw the charges.

Result: Charges withdrawn.


June 2011
Guilty Plea/Withdrawal of Charges- Ontario Court of Justice (Downsview- 1000 Finch)

Charges: Robbery (x3), Use Imitation Firearm while Committing Indictable Offence(x3), Wear Disguise with Intent to Commit Indictable Offence (x3).

Allegations: Client arrested along with Co-Accused after using an imitation firearm to rob a pharmacy. Client and Co-Accused both wearing balaclavas. Co-Accused made video statement to police admitting responsibility for several other robberies at other pharmacies and gas stations. During two of these robberies, Co-Accused was accompanied by another (masked) individual believed to be Client.

Disclosure Review/Crown Pre-Trial: Upon review of disclosure, witnesses did not provide sufficiently specific evidence as to the identity of the other masked individual. After Crown and Judicial Pre-Trials, Crown Attorney agreed to withdraw the charges from the other two robberies in exchange for a guilty plea to the first robbery.

Result: Client pled guilty to Robbery/Use Imitation Firearm/Wear Disguise (x1). Robbery/Use Imitation Firearm/Wear Disguise (x2) withdrawn.


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