R. v. Babinski
On May 26th 1993, Richard Babinski was convicted of murdering Eva Mead. The crown’s case was entirely circumstantial, with the exception of the evidence “L,” a jailhouse informant. “L” claimed that Babinski had told him that he’d committed “the perfect crime” and that the police “would never find [the body].” “L”’s evidence played a central role in the Crown’s case and Mr. Babinski’s conviction.
Two years later, “L” contacted Babinski’s trial counsel, and recanted the evidence that he gave at trial. “L” also revealed that a police officer and Crown attorney had coached him before he testified and offered to get him out of jail in return for his testimony. An internal investigation followed, leading to the discovery of a police interview with “L” that confirmed that Babinski never made the inculpatory statements. The investigation also revealed that “L” was heavily involved in the drug trade for an organized crime family, and had offered to testify against another inmate in 1996 who had been charged with killing a police officer. None of this evidence had been provided to defence counsel at Mr. Babinski’s trial.
On appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Court held that the non-disclosure of the police interview and other evidence in relation to “L” affected the reliability of Mr. Babinski’s conviction, and ordered a new trial.
The appellant, Richard Babinski, was represented by Frank Addario and Jack Gemmell
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