The Crown stayed some charges Friday against one of the suspects connected to a bizarre accusation by Stratford police of an unqualified person, wanted on outstanding arrest warrants, attempting to represent another man in court. Court lawyer.
David Crowe, 38, had criminal harassment, making harassing phone calls, and failing to comply with probation charges stayed. Assistant Crown attorney Elizabeth Wilson told Justice Robert Rogerson Crowe is facing similar charges involving the same complainant in Toronto.
“It’s the Crown’s position that these charges should be stayed, and it’s my understanding that the Toronto prosecution will continue,” Wilson said. “It’s the Crown’s position that it’s in the interest of Mr. Crowe, of the complainant, and of the proper administration of justice that these charges be stayed.”
A stay halts the prosecution of an accused, according to Toronto’s Donich Law’s website. They’re rare, but used in cases where societal interest is outweighed by fair play and decency.
Thomas Hicks, who appeared Friday as an agent on behalf of Crowe’s lawyer, Donna Pledge, said “there’s not much the defence can do about it,” but he also advised the court an abuse of process application will be brought forward on Crowe’s behalf.
An abuse of process application can include several arguments, such as intentional delays or conducting in bad faith, according to the province’s Ministry of the Attorney General website. If successful, the court can dismiss the stay.
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Even with the trio of stayed charges, Crowe, who sat handcuffed in the courtroom’s prisoner’s box in a black T-shirt and baggy grey pants, is still facing more than 20 charges in Stratford. Assistant Crown attorney Neil Dietrich said Pledge has asked for more disclosure, and his office needs a couple of weeks to come up with it.
Rogerson adjourned the case to Oct. 28.
Crowe did not appear in court this past June to face the trio of charges that were stayed Friday. Instead, a Toronto man, who claimed Crowe hired him through Kijiji for $200, tried to represent him, police said. Police later learned the Toronto man had several outstanding arrest warrants himself scattered throughout the province.
The court rejected him as Crowe’s representative and then issued an arrest warrant for Crowe. Officers followed the Toronto man as he left the courthouse and saw him stop to pick up a male passenger. Police said the passenger was Crowe, who they arrested after the vehicle stopped just outside the city.
The driver gave officers a different name than the one he used in court, police said. While taking him back to headquarters, the driver began showing signs of impairment, police said. He was arrested and a drug test showed he had a stimulant and a narcotic analgesic in his system, police said.
Police said they found five grams of meth, one gram of fentanyl, a knife and several pieces of fake ID in the vehicle. Police said they learned the driver’s real name through a database and found arrest warrants for him in Toronto, York Region and Niagara Falls.
The other suspect connected to the case, 37-year-old Justin Zamperin, is scheduled to appear via video in Stratford court next week.
Stratford police initially laid 20 charges against Zamperin, including operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, possession of an illegal substance, identity theft, impersonation, possessing stolen credit card data, possession of a false identity document, unauthorized possession of a weapon, obstruction of justice, and breach of recognizance. The number of charges increased a few weeks later.
Crowe’s list of charges includes possession of an illegal substance, possessing credit card data, identity theft, obstructing justice and impersonation intent.
None of the charges filed against either men have been tested in court.
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