Trial free girl
After she awoke in an alley, the girl found help at a friend’s house and she told a 911 operator that the accused choked her with her skipping rope until she passed out.Traces of the accused’s blood were found on two doors and a wall in the apartment where the girl was choked.
Sandiford was informed of the error, through an affidavit prepared by police, just as the trial was about to begin.When called to testify to explain the error the police officer said he was at a loss to explain what happened.He accepted blame for the mistake and could only assume the evidence in the attempted murder case somehow was mixed in with evidence in another case that had come to an end.By then the biologist who would be called as a Crown witness had taken all of the DNA samples he felt were necessary for the trial.The trial of a man accused of attempting to murder an 11-year-old girl will resume after a judge rejected his request to halt the proceedings because the Montreal police mistakenly tossed out evidence being used against him.The 44-year-old resident of the St-Laurent borough is also charged with sexually assaulting the girl on May 26, 2013.
The accused was charged two days after the attack and evidence has been presented in his trial, on non-consecutive days, since February 2015.
But since late last year his defence lawyer has argued the trial should be halted, through a stay of proceedings, because a Montreal police sergeant in charge of preserving evidence mistakenly destroyed 17 items related to the case – including a skipping rope used to strangle the girl and her torn bra.
The accused cannot be named because of his close connection to the girl’s family.
Her identity is protected by a standard publication ban.
Two samples of adult male DNA were found on the torn bra, which did not match the accused’s DNA, and defence lawyer Sharon Sandiford argued the destruction of the evidence does not allow the accused the opportunity to have a different biologist determine if those two DNA profiles can be found on sections of the skipping rope that weren’t examined by the Crown’s expert witness.
If a match could be made, the defence argued, it would suggest another person committed the crime.