Nova Scotia

Supreme Court won't hear Nova Scotia police sting case

The Supreme Court of Canada is refusing to hear the case of a Nova Scotia woman who was the target of a police undercover operation during the investigation of a 2011 homicide.

Judge threw out evidence from police undercover operation launched after Dartmouth man killed

Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. (Albert Couillard/CBC)

The Supreme Court of Canada is refusing to hear an appeal of a Nova Scotia judge's decision to throw out evidence against a woman targeted by a police undercover operation during the investigation of a 2011 homicide.

Brittany Leigh Derbyshire was suspected of knowing the whereabouts of Steven Skinner. He is charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Dartmouth, N.S., man, Stacey Adams, but fled the country after the shooting.

Two undercover police officers from Quebec confronted Derbyshire in the parking garage of her apartment building. They posed as members of an outlaw biker gang and pressured her to reveal what she knew about Skinner and homicide.

Derbyshire revealed details of the crime and told them where they could find evidence. She was charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

This photo of Steven Skinner was released by Halifax police in 2011.

Abuse of process

But at her trial, the judge ruled that the undercover police officers had gone too far in intimidating Derbyshire and their actions amounted to an abuse of process. The judge wouldn't allow the Crown to use the evidence obtained in the police sting. Without it, the case against Derbyshire collapsed.

The Crown appealed Derbyshire's acquittal to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, where it lost again.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the matter.

The family of Stacey Adams said Thursday they're disappointed by the Supreme Court decision. They said Derbyshire should be held accountable for her actions.

Kenneth Fiske, the chief Crown attorney of appeals in the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, issued a statement saying it respected the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case and "this is now the end of the matter."