Frank Paul police report incomplete: judge
A B.C. Supreme Court judge says Vancouver police submitted an incomplete report about the actions of two officers involved with a homeless man who died of hypothermia in 1998.
Justice Austin Cullen, who was the regional Crown lawyer at the time Frank Paul died, said that report meant "the die was cast" for him to recommend no charges be brought against the officers.
At least four other prosecutors came to the same conclusion after various reviews of Paul's case.
Cullen said the Vancouver Police Department report didn't include complete statements from the two officers or any recommendation on charges.
There was enough evidence to suggest manslaughter charges but there was reasonable doubt about the officers' actions, he said.
Cullen said he was troubled by the fact that Paul was left in an alley to die by a police officer who wasn't trained to assess his level of intoxication.
Cullen was testifying at a special continuation of the original judicial inquiry, which ended in March 2009.
At that time, the inquiry commissioner, retired judge William Davies, issued a 446-page report that was harshly critical of the Vancouver police's treatment of Paul.
The inquiry ended without hearing from the three former Crown lawyers after the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch argued they should not be compelled to explain their decision not to lay charges.
Davies said he would reconvene the inquiry if the courts ruled the three should testify at the inquiry about their decision not to charge any of the officers.
In April, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal of the B.C. Court of Appeal decision that said the former Crowns should appear at the inquiry.