Saskatoon police officer to get new trial after obstruction conviction

Cst. Steve Nelson at provincial court during his trial

A Saskatoon police officer, Const. Steve Nelson, convicted of obstruction in 2012 after he threw away a witness statement, will be getting a new trial. During sentencing last year, Judge Hugh Harradence called the witness statement “a critical piece of evidence,” and both officers admitted tossing the statement “would be highly inappropriate.” However, the court of appeal has ordered a new trial. It said the crown had to prove the officers intended to obstruct justice above and beyond making a mistake. “A simple error of judgment or an inadequate exercise of discretion does not constitute the requisite for the criminal offence of obstructing justice,” read the appeal decision. A date for the new trial has not been set.

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