R. v. Pitts (J.T.), 2015 NSCA 85

Judge:Bourgeois, J.A.
Court:Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
Case Date:September 10, 2015
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:2015 NSCA 85;(2015), 365 N.S.R.(2d) 154 (CA)
 
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R. v. Pitts (J.T.) (2015), 365 N.S.R.(2d) 154 (CA);

    1151 A.P.R. 154

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Temp. Cite: [2015] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. SE.035

Jason Troy Pitts (applicant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent)

(CAC 439939; 2015 NSCA 85)

Indexed As: R. v. Pitts (J.T.)

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

Bourgeois, J.A.

September 18, 2015.

Summary:

The accused pled guilty to a number of offences including possession of child pornography, making of child pornography and conspiracy to commit an indictable offense (sexual assault). He was sentenced to a total of seven years' imprisonment. The accused wanted to appeal his sentence, suggesting that it was too harsh and "outside the range of sentence for similar offenders in similar circumstances". The accused did not file his Notice of Appeal within the required period. He brought a motion to extend the time for filing.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, per Bourgeois, J.A., allowed the motion.

Criminal Law - Topic 6208

Sentencing - Appeals - Variation of sentence - Extension of time to appeal - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, per Bourgeois, J.A., stated that "[s]ection 678 of the Criminal Code gives me authority to extend the time for filing a Notice of Appeal. ... The same authority is reflected in Civil Procedure Rule 91.04." - See paragraphs 3 and 4.

Criminal Law - Topic 6208

Sentencing - Appeals - Variation of sentence - Extension of time to appeal - The accused pled guilty to a number of offences including possession of child pornography, making of child pornography and conspiracy to commit an indictable offense (sexual assault) - He was sentenced on February 4, 2015 to a total of seven years' imprisonment - The accused wanted to appeal his sentence, suggesting that it was too harsh and "outside the range of sentence for similar offenders in similar circumstances" - The accused did not file his Notice of Appeal within the required period - He brought a motion to extend the time for filing - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, per Bourgeois, J.A., allowed the motion - The court found, inter alia, that: (i) the accused had a bona fide intention to appeal within the required time period, and (ii) his institutional transfers, delayed attempts to obtain legal advice and mental health concerns constituted a reasonable explanation for the delay - See paragraphs 7 to 11.

Criminal Law - Topic 6208

Sentencing - Appeals - Variation of sentence - Extension of time to appeal - The accused pled guilty to a number of offences including possession of child pornography, making of child pornography and conspiracy to commit an indictable offense (sexual assault) - He was sentenced on February 4, 2015 to a total of seven years' imprisonment - The accused wanted to appeal his sentence, suggesting that it was too harsh and "outside the range of sentence for similar offenders in similar circumstances" - The accused did not file his Notice of Appeal within the required period - He brought a motion to extend the time for filing - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, per Bourgeois, J.A., allowed the motion - The court rejected the Crown's argument that the accused's appeal was clearly devoid of merit - He had raised an arguable issue regarding the appropriateness of the sentence imposed - On sentencing, the Crown had argued that seven years was a fit disposition - The accused's counsel suggested three years - It was clear from the transcript that the Crown in preparing for sentencing had difficulty in identifying an established range of sentence for the conspiracy charge - The sentencing judge similarly acknowledged a lack of precedent in his sentencing decision - See paragraphs 12 to 17.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. R.E.M. (2011), 299 N.S.R.(2d) 258; 947 A.P.R. 258; 2011 NSCA 8, appld. [para. 5].

R. v. J.C.M. (2015), 356 N.S.R.(2d) 303; 1126 A.P.R. 303; 2015 NSCA 19, refd to. [para. 14].

Statutes Noticed:

Civil Procedure Rules (N.S.), rule 91.04 [para. 4].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 678 [para. 3].

Rules of Civil Procedure (N.S.) - see Civil Procedure Rules (N.S.).

Rules of Court (N.S.) - see Civil Procedure Rules (N.S.).

Counsel:

Jason Troy Pitts, applicant in person;

William Delaney, for the respondent.

This motion was heard on September 10, 2015, in Halifax, N.S., by Bourgeois, J.A., of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, in Chambers, who delivered the following decision for the court on September 18, 2015.

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