A Moncton Mountie convicted of two impaired driving-related charges earlier this month should have the case against him thrown out due to unreasonable delays, his defence lawyer argued Monday for a second time.
Retired RCMP sergeant Ronald Cleveland, 49, was found guilty on June 2 of driving while impaired and driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit in connection with an incident in Dieppe in 2014.
But his lawyer James Matheson maintains Cleveland’s right to a timely trial was violated.
Nearly 38 months have passed from the time charges were laid against Cleveland until Monday’s stay of proceedings hearing, Matheson told the Moncton provincial court.
At some point, the delay just becomes “too much,” he said, pointing out problems with disclosure of evidence and court dates that had to be changed.
Crown prosecutor Claude Haché called the stay application “vague and general,” saying a complete picture of how the delays were incurred is needed.
Haché said the delays should not be attributed to the Crown and asked why the defence didn’t bring this matter up when the judge reserved decision on the case on March 16 — more than 30 months after the matter started.
Judge Paul Duffie said he will make a decision on the stay of proceedings on July 7.
If granted, the case would be brought to an end, and the judge’s guilty ruling essentially cancelled.
Matheson tried last year to have the charges against Cleveland withdrawn, citing Canada’s move to have provincial trials completed within 18 months.
Duffie ruled against Matheson at the time, blaming the defence and what the Crown called “lengthy and sometimes novel requests” for information for much of the delay.
More than three years have gone by since the incident that led to the charges in a case that’s been plagued by legal delays.
RCMP received a 911 call during the early morning hours of March 21, 2014 about a potentially drunk…