HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Rights Intact After Bust, Court Rules
Pubdate: Thu, 24 Jul 2008
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2008 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Mike McIntyre


Winnipeg police didn't breach a man's charter rights when they went to
check on his emotional well-being and found a marijuana grow operation
inside his home.

Ryan Tereck tried to fight his drug conviction on the grounds police
had no right busting into his home and seizing about 300 pot plans
found inside.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal disagrees, ruling this week police were
only looking out for his best interests and can't be faulted for
stumbling across a crime in the process.

The unusual case dates back to April 2005, when Tereck apparently told
his psychiatrist in a letter he planned to shoot and kill himself. The
information was passed on to Tereck's father, who called police. He
told officers his son seemed "agitated" during their last conversation
and he was concerned he may follow through with his suicide threat.

Police went to Tereck's home and had to break the door down when
nobody answered. They found him sitting inside and quickly took him
into custody for his own protection.

Police then conducted what's called a "sweep search" of his home to
check whether there were any other people or weapons around. That's
when they came across the grow operation.

Normally, police must obtain a warrant in order to make a seizure of
this kind. But there are allowances in law for special circumstances
where public safety is deemed to be at risk.

Appeal Court Justice Michel Monnin said it would have been a
"dereliction of their duty or plain negligence" if police had left
Tereck's home without ensuring a loaded gun or other weapon might not
be laying around for future use by him.
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