Mar 18, 2014

Summary of R. v. Tesfai

R. v. Tesfai, 1995 CanLII 4153 (NS SC)
The accused applied under s.24 of the Charter to exclude evidence in the form of drugs seized by police while executing a warrant to search his 'dwelling-house'. The drugs were found under the patio and near a retaining wall a few feet from the patio. The accused argued that the police presented insufficient grounds to justify the issuance of the warrant, and that in any case the authority to search the 'dwelling-house' did not extend to the exterior of the house.Denying the application and admitting the evidence, that there were ample grounds to issue the warrant. 'Dwelling-house' included, under the circumstances, the patio. Although the search of the retaining wall area was technically unauthorized, the drugs seized constituted real evidence which existed prior to any Charter breach. The police could have secured a warrant to search the backyard area, they acted in good faith, and to exclude the evidence would result in the dismissal of a very serious charge. In the circumstances excluding the evidence would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.