New trial for Ontario couple convicted of unlawful confinement in citizen’s arrest

The Ontario Court of Appeal is seen in Toronto on Monday, April 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel. Colin Perkel / The Canadian Press

Ontario’s top court has ordered a new trial for a Caledon, Ont. couple found guilty of unlawful confinement after they tied up two young men caught stealing from their property.

In a unanimous ruling released Thursday, the Court of Appeal says the trial judge made mistakes in his instruction to the jury in the citizen’s arrest case.

The court says the judge failed to direct the jury on the issue of whether the two men consented to their prolonged confinement, as the couple alleged.

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During the trial, court heard the two men were trying to steal stainless steel from the homeowners’ yard for the third night in a row in August 2008 when they were caught in the act.

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The two men testified that the couple confronted them with a gun, held them hostage, assaulted them and demanded money in exchange for not calling the police.

The couple denied those allegations and said that after they tied up the men with zip ties, the pair pleaded with them not to call police and offered to repay them for the previous thefts.

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