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Criminal Law

Selwyn has provided representation to persons charged with various criminal offenses including Drugs: Selling and Possessing, Shoplifting, Serious Offences of Violence: Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon and Robbery, Gun Offences, sexual assault, robbery, theft, extortion, HIV/AIDS litigation; fraud, break & enter, attempted murder, murder, regulatory offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, professional disciplinary offences, and conspiracy offences.

Selwyn has also been involved in drugs, guns and gang trials including "Project Green Apple", "Project XXX" and "Project Kryptic", "Project Corral" which are some of Canada's largest Criminal Organization prosecutions. Selwyn is currently counsel for an accused in "Project Feline" and Project Revival" drug sting operations. In Project Corral, Selwyn's advocacy resulted in the "gang expert" evidence being discredited and the Criminal Organization charges against his client and others being tossed out by the Court: R. v. Agil, Chambers, Fullerton, Jimale and Brown 2011 CarswellOnt 18099 (Ont. CJ. July 14, 2011, Khawley J.)

R. v. Vaughan Oscar Roberts - Mr. Roberts is charged with second degree murder of Jason Wagar, attempted murder of Michael Muchmore, possession of a restricted weapon, possession of a loaded restricted firearm without an authorization or licence, without lawful excuse point a firearm at another person, use of a firearm in the commission of an indictable offence, and discharge of a firearm with intent to endanger the life of Michael Muchmore. These charges arise from an incident that occurred on August 12, 2021, at 15 Fergus Street, in the City of Kingston. A bail hearing was held in this matter and a publication ban requested by the Crown Attorney was resisted by Mr. Roberts: R. v. Roberts, 2021 ONSC 8116 (SCJ). Mr. Roberts was released on bail the Judge having found that "Considering the totality of the evidence presented, including the racial context, the qualities of the sureties, the terms of the proposed plan of supervision, the lack of a criminal record, and the most recent outbreak at the Quinte Detention Centre, I am of the opinion that detention is not necessary in order to maintain confidence in the administration of justice." R. v. Roberts, 2020 ONSC 8401. See also, Attempted murder added to charges in Kingston shooting, August 13, 2021; Murder suspect seeks bail, declines publication ban The October 26, 2021; Judge grants bail to Black Ajax man facing murder charge, citing 'very strong' self-defence argument in death of white Kingston man, Toronto Star, December 17, 2021

R. v. Madison, 2021 CarswellOnt 5084, 171 W.C.B. (2d) 337 Sentencing of Connor Madison: A sentencing hearing was held on March 30, 2021 for Mr. Connor Madison on multiple charges including aggravated assault and uttering threats. Mr. Madison is a 23-year old man of Metis heritage who stabbed another resident of a shelter and later threatened his mother and as well a Toronto Community Housing security officer, while out on bail. Mr. Madison was sentenced to 24 months for aggravated assault, two months consecutive, for threatening security officer and one month consecutive for threatening his mother, less 488 days' credit for time served.

Preliminary inquiry of Connor Madison: Mr. Connor Madison was charged with second-degree murder in June, 2020 in connection with stabbing death of Stephon Anton Knights-Roberts . His preliminary inquiry was held from May 17 – 19, 2021 with a decision given orally on May 27, 2021 committing him to trial.

R. v. Clarke Mr. Clarke was charged with aggravated assault for which he entered a plea to the lesser included offence of assault causing bodily harm. There was a joint position for 18 month conditional sentence having regarding to mitigating factors in favor of the accused. The complainant, who orchestrated the confrontation with Mr. Clarke, sustained multiple stab wounds. One in the upper middle back area that was plugged at the scene by EMS and resulted in a collapsed lung. The stab wound to the left ear severed some nerves and plastic surgery was necessary to repair the damage. The treating physician indicated that there were lacerations to left parotid gland, which is located just under and in front of the left ear. Also, a laceration to the left temporal artery, located just in front of the left ear. The final stab wound was to the left anterior lower neck area 3-4 inches in length and which caused a hematoma. He was taken to surgery to rule out any injury to his trachea and esophagus. The complainant was first treated with a surgically placed chest-tube to his right chest. He also received a number of sutures to close the wounds to his ear, neck and back. The complainant spent a week in hospital prior to being discharged. He continues to have some lasting effects, including some nerve damage to his face due to the nerve damage caused by the severing of the nerves near his ear, as well as strained breathing due to the injury to his lung. Mr. Clarke as a result of my work served no jail time for this offence.

R. v. Harry, the complainant alleged that the accused assaulted her in the presence of her children, two of whom she alleged were ear witnesses and one of whom was present in the room. As a result of plea negotiations Justice Broderick granted the accused a conditional discharge. This means that he will not receive a criminal conviction and will not have a criminal record from this incident, but there will be a temporary record kept of the discharge.

R. v. J.A. mischief - this was a domestic matter in which the complalnant alleged that the accused broke her computer monitor. The charges were withdrawn.

R. v. Theriault, 2020 ONSC 5784 - Provided legal advice and assisted in the revision and editing of a Community Impact Statement for the sentencing of a White Police Officer who was involved in the assault and lost of an eye of Dafonte Miller, a Black teenager.

Domestic Violence - cases involving domestic violence and interpersonal assaults / violence amongst spouses and friends with benefits increased astronomically during COVID and the resulting lock-down. We provided representation in criminal matters and regulatory matters arising out of such difficult matters that spawn charges that could include murder, aggravated assault, assault bodily harm, 267(C) assault/choking, CC 267 assault with a weapon, CC 266 assault, CC 279(2) fo/arcible confinement, CC 267(A) assault with a weapon.

R. v. W. W. 2019 CarswellOnt 18822 (O.C.J.) - On January 21, 2019, Mr. W. pleaded guilty to one count of trading in securities while prohibited contrary to s. 122(1)(c) of the Ontario Securities Act. The OSC Prosecutors were seeking 12 months as a joint position, 15 to 16 months as an open position, 2 years less a day on conviction after trial, and two years probation, in any event, on terms that would prohibit Mr. W. from working in securities or any related businesses. Justice Malcolm McLeod of the Ontario Court of Justice was not convinced that a higher sentence was required as there was no fraud involved, it was not a boiler room scam and neither was there any investor losses. Reviewing existing caselaw, Justice McLeod found that harsher sentences were usually reserved for offenders facing similar charges in cases involving boiler room scams and significant investor losses. The court made it clear that no such factors were present in Mr. Weber’s case and such absence of ordinarily aggravating factors cannot be used to drive up the sentence. Taking guidance from existing precedents, Justice McLeod refused to accept the OSC’s arguments for a higher sentence in the range of 15-18 months. Mr. W. was sentenced to a 90-days intermittent sentence to be served on weekends and two years probation. OSC has appealed the sentence and a hearing of the appeal has been set for May 25, 2020.

R. v. W.W. 2019 CarswellOnt 14097 (O.C.J.) Mr. W. brought an application to strike his guilty plea on the basis that it was not voluntary, informed and unequivocal. The motion to strike the guilty plea was dismissed. The matter thereafter proceeded to the sentencing phase.

R. v. M.B. 2019 CarswellOnt 10207 (O.C.J.). M.B. was a residential support worker employed at children’s residence that housed individuals with developmental, emotional, psychiatric and behavioural challenges. She was alleged to have assaulted 11-year old complainant on six occasions. A third-party record application was filed. Records were produced for review by judge, who concluded that some of records were likely relevant. Copies of were produced. Record was not to be used in any other proceeding except with authorization of court order. M.B. matter proceeded to trial and she was acquitted of all charges.

R. v. B.L. (O.C.J.). Mr. L. was charged with six counts of assault, one count of assault with a weapon and one count of utter threat to cause death. He pled guilty to two counts of assault and was given a conditional discharge with probation. The Crown sought a DNA Order for this secondary designated offence. Submissions were made that the state’s interest in obtaining the offender’s DNA profile is premised on the serious nature of both primary and secondary designated offences making the order one that will advance the state’s objectives of:[1] a) deterring potential repeat offenders (i.e. specific deterrence);
b) promoting the safety of the community;
c) detecting/identifying/prosecuting the offence upon re-offending;
d) assisting in the solving of "cold" crimes;
e) streamline investigations; and
f) protecting the innocent by eliminating suspects and exonerating the wrongfully convicted.

Mr. Justice Stephen Brown accepted and adopted my written submissions: "I have read Mr. Pieters' very thorough written submissions on this matter and they are set out in paragraph 28 to 39 on his written submissions which I am going to file…. And I adopt them in their entirety.". The Crown’s request for an Order to collect Mr. B.L. DNA was denied.

R. v. C.(K.), 2014 CarswellOnt 11887, 2014 ONCJ 445, [2014] O.J. No. 4183, 115 W.C.B. (2d) 418 (Ont. CJ.) - this case involved the sentencing of a young person for a robbery with a hand gun.

In 2013, Selwyn obtained an extraordinary remedy of costs agains the Crown for failure to provide disclosure of police officer memo book notes in R. v. W.(J.), [2013] O.J. No. 2284, 2013 CarswellOnt 6322, 2013 ONCJ 270 (Ont. CJ.).

If your criminal charges are tainted by racism, racial harassment and/or racial profiling Selwyn is very qualified and able to vigorously raise these issues in Court. Selwyn is the successful litigant in the recent racial profiling case involving carding of three Black men: Peel Law Association v. Pieters, 2013 CarswellOnt 7881, 2013 ONCA 396, 228 A.C.W.S. (3d) 204, 116 O.R. (3d) 81, 306 O.A.C. 314, 9 C.C.E.L. (4th) 233, [2013] O.J. No. 2695.

Selwyn most recently litigated the racial profiling case of a teen who was falsely criminally charged in what is alleged to be a case of racial profiling by police officers:

Selwyn has provided crucial legal advise to clients during high risk situations such as gun calls, hostage taking, barricaded persons, mentally disturbed persons, high risk arrests and public order control in situations where there is significant public disorder, lawlessness, personal injury and property damage. Charges of cause disturbance and assault police can be pretextual racial profiling charges: R. v. Roach, 2005 O.J. No. 5278 (Ont. C.J.) (Criminal Law - Causing a Disturbance); R. v. Ramsaroop, 2009 CarswellOnt 5281, 2009 ONCJ 406 (Ont. CJ.); R. v. Taylor, 2010 CarswellOnt 6584, 2010 ONCJ 396, [2010] O.J. No. 3794 (Ont. CJ.)

Selwyn was co-counsel in the world's first-ever sexual HIV transmission murder trial of Johnson Aziga in Hamilton, Ontario.

Selwyn has vast experience in law enforcement and security issues and can provide unmatched professional legal service to individuals, corporations and governments.

Selwyn is a member of Legal Aid Ontario Criminal Panel and the Extremely Serious Criminal Matters Panel.

Selwyn has numerous reported cases in crucial areas of the criminal litigation process.

Selwyn has guest lectured at Universities the across Canada including McGill, Dalhousie, University of Windsor, University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, Ryerson University and George Brown College on law enforcement and criminal law issues.

Selwyn has appeared in numerous media including print, television, online, radio on law enforcement and criminal justice issues.

Selwyn A. Pieters - Barrister & Solicitor; 2019 All rights reserved.