Calgary Court rules on bail for sex offence

March 11, 2021

R v NBM, 2020 ABCA 454

On December 11, 2020, the Alberta Court of Appeal in Calgary released a bail decision in the case R v NBM, in which the accused was twice denied bail pending the appeal of his conviction, relating to a sex offence. The Court reviewed those decisions, and on this date denied him bail again.

At trial, the accused was convicted of numerous sexual offences and unlawful confinement of his young daughter, and sentenced to 18 years in custody. The Court of Appeal in the first instance found that the applicant’s detention was necessary in the public interest. The second application was based on an alleged material change of circumstances.

The Court of Appeal explained that to allow an application like this to proceed – to review a previous decision of the Court of Appeal on the same subject – the accused does not need to demonstrate that the review will be successful, or even that the arguments in favour of the review are overwhelming. However, the accused must demonstrate that there is more to the proposed review than just revisiting the decision of the original bail judge. The Court of Appeal observed that just because a different judge might have come up with a different result doesn’t mean that the judge who made the actual decision had made a reviewable error.

When you hire the Alberta Bail Office to handle your bail review, it could make all the difference: our lawyers are experts at spotting the sort of reviewable error that will give you a second chance to make bail. In this case, the Court of Appeal made a point of mentioning that the accused failed to address the major criticisms made by the Court in the last two reviews, especially regarding how public safety concerns could be solved.

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