December 6, 2018 7:22 pm
Updated: December 6, 2018 7:37 pm

Trial for Halifax police officer accused of assaulting homeless man to resume in the new year

Thu, Dec 6: The trial of a Halifax Regional Police officer who is accused of assaulting a homeless man and then falsifying the related police records has closed for the year. As Elizabeth McSheffrey reports, the partner of Const. Laurence Gary Basso took to the stand on Thursday.


After four full days in provincial court, the trial of a Halifax constable charged with assaulting a homeless man and falsifying the related police documents will continue in January, 2019.

Judge Laurel Halfpenny-MacQuarrie will spend the holidays deciding whether enough evidence exists to uphold charges of public mischief and breach of trust against Const. Laurence Gary Basso, who allegedly struck Patrice Simard outside the Metro Turning Point shelter in Halifax on Feb. 25.

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Simard, who testified in court on Wednesday that he was intoxicated the night the incident took place, was initially charged with assaulting Basso, but those charges were dropped shortly after the incident.

READ MORE: Halifax police officer set to stand trial for assault the 10th highest paid employee in the municipality

Medical records show that Simard’s nose was broken.

Crown prosecutor Sylvia Domaradzki argued in court on Thursday that Basso’s notes and report on what happened that night contain a “blatant lie” and a number of inconsistencies when compared with security footage from the shelter, which shows Basso taking a swing at Simard, who is on his knees in the snow.

Simard has said he doesn’t remember most what happened that night.

Const. Laurence Gary Basso heads from provincial court in Halifax on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Basso faces charges of assault and falsifying information in police reports relating to the alleged assault of a man at a homeless shelter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan


Basso’s lawyer argued that given Simard’s lack of memory and position in the video, it’s impossible to determine with certainty that Simard did not strike Basso first.

He further suggested that no evidence exists proving Basso intended to lie about the altercation in his notes, and intended to mislead the officer who took over his investigation into the incident.

READ MORE: Trial continues for Halifax police officer accused of assaulting homeless man, trying to cover it up

That officer was Basso’s partner, Const. Susan Conrad, who testified on Thursday that upon reviewing Basso’s documents filed that week, she believed Basso had sufficient and reasonable grounds to pursue an assault charge against Simard.

Even after viewing the parking lot video tape, she told the court, she still believes those grounds exist.

WATCH: Man weeps after seeing video of Halifax officer allegedly striking him

The trial will resume on Jan. 4, when Halfpenny-MacQuarrie will decide whether the public mischief and breach of trust charges should be dropped.

Final arguments on the charge of assault against Basso have not been made and additional court time has been scheduled.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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