OTTAWA—The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal from a British Columbia man who spent 27 years in prison for sexual assaults he did not commit and who wants to sue the Crown for negligence.
In 2011, Ivan Henry filed civil lawsuits against the provincial and federal attorneys general, the City of Vancouver and three members of its police department.
He sought damages for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, misfeance in public office and an award for charter damages for what he says were serious breaches of the Crown’s disclosure obligations.
In April 2013 a judge allowed him to amend his pleadings on the topic of charter damages and include an allegation that the Crown’s actions were an unacceptable departure from the reasonable standards expected.
The defendants appealed, arguing Henry shouldn’t be allowed to seek compensation for conduct that was negligent and the provincial Court of Appeal agreed.
The Supreme Court will hear Henry’s appeal from the decision.
Henry was convicted of 10 offences involving eight complainants in 1983 and was declared a dangerous offender.
The B.C. Court of Appeal acquitted him of the offences in October 2010, after hearing the judge made several mistakes during his trial.
The Crown also conceded that evidence wasn’t disclosed to Henry, as it should have been, and if he was tried again he wouldn’t be convicted.