BREAK & ENTER

The strange case of Wolverine

Wolverine lost his job and was homeless as his welfare checks were not coming in. One very cold winter night he was roaming the streets of Brampton, essentially freezing. He was desperate for warmth and saw an old house that appeared deserted. He went to the back door and was able to force it open. He was so relieved as the house had heat and was warm. He immediately fell asleep on the kitchen floor.

A neighbor saw Wolverine force his way into the house and called the police. 15 minutes later the police arrived and saw Wolverine sleeping on the kitchen floor. He was arrested and immediately charged with Break and Enter. Raj Napal and The NLC defense team came to his aid. Through diligent preparation to prove his homelessness and weather reports of the freezing temperature that night, we were able to persuade a judge at a pre-trial that Wolverine had no intention of stealing anything from the house and had no intent to commit an indictable offence, essential elements that the crown had to prove to sustain the charge of Break and Enter.

The crown reduced the charge to the much lesser charge of “unlawfully in enclosed premises” for which he received a conditional discharge. This discharge did not affect him in getting a job. If he had not been well represented byRaj Napal, he would have faced a jail term for break and enter and would have faced severe problems getting a job.

Mistaken Identity: Johnny’s story

It was a Saturday, and it happened in the early hours of the morning-1.00 a.m. to be precise from the 911 call. The alarm had gone off at the local pizza place in the sleepy town of Halethorpe. The police with their cruiser sirens blazing attended the pizza restaurant. Within minutes of that call a passerby called 911 and gave the description of a white male 5’ 8" tall, slim build, wearing dark clothes limping around the area of the pizza restaurant. The police noticed a male fitting that description limping some 100 yards from the pizza. The man was immediately arrested and charged with Break and Enter of commercial premises. His name was Johnny, and he told the police he had nothing to do with the break and enter. He told them he was walking home after drinking at the local bar.

The crown believed that the identification evidence was strong. Johnny consulted Raj Napal and NLC lawyers. We began work exploring potential alibi evidence that we could secure from the local bar-no success as no one from the bar remembered Johnny drinking there at that time. However, we got a lucky break in our investigation when we interviewed Tom. Tom told us he was one of Johnny’s drinking buddies and that Johnny had called him for a few drinks at the bar late on Friday night. Tom could not go as his wife was ill. We established that the bar closed at 2.00 a.m. and with the aid of Google maps established that the pizza place was only a 5-minute walk from the bar. We also established that the direction that Johnny took was a direct route to his home. We also obtained a food receipt for 1.00 a.m. that showed Johnny had purchased a sandwich at the bar. Johnny said he had a lot to drink, he did not have a limp, it was just lack of coordination through drunkenness.

We presented a compelling defense at trial and the judge was obligated to find Johnny not guilty as the identification evidence was weak. Johnny was just at the wrong place at the wrong time!