The police had reasonable grounds to believe that Manninen had committed an indictable offence. He arrived at a gas station in a car that had been stolen the previous day, there was a gun and knives in the car, and the hoodie that the suspect was identified as wearing was also in the car. The police received a tip, and waited at the gas station for him to arrive. When Manninen went inside they looked in the car and saw all of these articled, then followed him inside. They searched him and handcuffed him before they told him that he was under arrest. Manninen clearly stated that he wanted to speak with his lawyer. The police held him in a small office at the gas station with a telephone in it, but did not allow him to call his lawyer. The police kept questioning, but he said that he would not say anything until he talked to his lawyer. The police continued to question, and eventually he admitted the knives belonged to him. The trial judge and the Court of Appeal held that the evidence obtained after Manninnen asked for his lawyer was inadmissible, which the Crown appealed.
- Was s.10(b) of the Charter violated, and was the evidence therefore inadmissible?
Manninen argued that nothing he said after he stated that he wanted a lawyer could be evidence. However Lamer, writing for the court, rejected this because he was clearly told that anything he said could be used against him. He argued in the alternative that the police did not make a reasonable effort to allow him to contact his lawyer. There was a phone in the room, but he was denied access to it. Lamer agrees; the police did not make a reasonable effort to allow him to speak with counsel.
He goes on to say that the right to counsel under s.10(b) of the Charter really means that once an accused asks to speak with his lawyer, the police have a duty to stop questioning him and help him obtain counsel. However, they also state that the accused must be diligent in their effort. If the police provide help in contacting counsel, then you must act reasonably. Here, Manninen demanded to speak with counsel and the police effectively ignored him.
- Once an accused person requests to speak with counsel, the police have a duty to stop questioning him and help him contact his lawyer.
- The accused must act with "reasonable diligence" when contacting counsel once help has been given by the police.