Supreme Court restores conviction of Saskatoon landlord
The Supreme Court of Canada has reinstated the conviction of a Saskatoon landlord accused of falsifying smoke alarm records after a fatal fire.
Jagdish Lal (Jack) Grover was sentenced in 2006 to one year in jail after he was convicted of attempted obstruction of justice.
Two children, a three-year-old and a nine-month-old, died of injuries they received in the March 2005 fire in a Saskatoon rental house.
At Grover's originaltrial, court heard fire investigators found the remains of two smoke detectors in the house—one with no battery and the other locked in a cupboard.
There was also testimony that Grover visited a fire victim in the hospital and tried to get her to sign documents relating to the smoke detectors.
The Crown argued Grover was trying to cover his tracks by falsifying records related to the detectors.
However, Grover said he only visited the hospital out of concern for the well-being of a tenant.
Grover was convicted of attempted obstruction of justice and served three months before the conviction was overturned by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.
The appeal court ruled there wasn't enough evidence to prove that Grover knew the smoke alarm records were false.
The Crown appealed that ruling and on Thursday, the high court overturned it and restored the conviction.
The Supreme Court said Saskatchewan's appeal judges made a mistake.
"It was not open to the Court of Appeal to acquit [Grover] on the basis of speculation about a possible explanation of his conduct that was flatly contradicted by his own testimony," the court said in the six-page written decision.
The decision means Grover will return to jail.