Mar 18, 2014

Summary of R. v. Sampson

R. v. Sampson, 2009 NSSC 133 (CanLII)
Both accused were found together in the bedroom of an apartment leased by the male accused during a search in which the police found a bulk amount of cocaine hidden in the lining of a jacket hanging in the bedroom closet, along with digital scales and a small amount of other drugs in the same closet. Another set of digital scales with cocaine residue and packaging materials (tinfoil and plastic bags) were found in the bathroom but no cash, score sheets or packaged product was located. Both accused were charged with possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking.The male accused was found guilty of possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking; the female accused was found not guilty. Although the jacket in which the cocaine was found appeared to be a lady's jacket and did not fit the male accused, the court was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt, based on the other physical evidence, that he was in constructive possession of the cocaine, knew what the substance was and was in possession of it for the purposes of trafficking. However, there was no evidence that the jacket belonged to the female accused or that she resided in the apartment and the only established link between her and the cocaine was her mere presence in the apartment at the time the search was conducted. The court discussed what the Crown must prove to establish either constructive or joint possession.