By Alfa · Sep 7, 2004 ·
  1. Alfa

    Ex-Mountie's Appeal Based On Time It Took To Get To Trial

    An ex-RCMP officer sentenced this week to four years in prison for
    drug trafficking will find out in the next couple of days whether he
    will be freed on bail pending an appeal.

    Danny Ryan, a former member of the Tantallon detachment's street team,
    was convicted in June of trafficking marijuana and breach of trust for
    stealing and selling drugs that police had seized.

    On Thursday, Justice Thomas Cromwell of the Nova Scotia Court of
    Appeal reserved his decision on bail for a day or two.

    Mr. Ryan's appeal of his conviction is based solely on his case
    allegedly taking too long to get to trial. The Appeal Court will hear
    the case on Sept. 27.

    In April, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge refused to stay the
    charges against Mr. Ryan, who made his request based on the same
    constitutional argument.

    "It's a significant charter issue that has to be dealt with," Mr.
    Ryan's lawyer, Mike Taylor, told Justice Cromwell on Thursday.

    "It is not frivolous. There is merit to it."

    Until his sentencing on Monday, Mr. Ryan had been free on bail since
    he was charged in January 2002.

    "Mr. Ryan does not pose any kind of threat to the public," Mr. Taylor

    The federal Crown opposes Mr. Ryan's release, arguing it would
    undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.

    "It's not a matter of a man being innocent, where he's admitted all of
    the necessary elements of the offence," said David Bright, the lawyer
    acting on behalf of the Crown.

    The public would not be well-served by having a person sentenced to
    four years in jail on Monday and then Thursday walking free until his
    appeal, he said.

    "The onus is on Mr. Ryan in this particular case to show that he
    should be released," Mr. Bright said.

    Mr. Ryan, once a respected officer, supplied drugs to an RCMP
    informant and demanded a cut of the proceeds from their sale.

    On Monday, sentencing judge Justice Walter Goodfellow said Mr. Ryan
    grossly abused his position of trust.

    Mr. Ryan's arrest prompted the federal Crown to launch a review of
    drug cases he investigated. As a result, charges were stayed or
    dropped in 15 to 20 cases against 35 accused.

    Mr. Ryan was not in court Thursday but his wife Shannon sat in the
    gallery with another woman.

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