Ivan Henry wrongful-imprisonment case about risks of self-representation: Crown

VANCOUVER -- A Crown lawyer says a compensation lawsuit over the wrongful conviction of a British Columbia man who spent 27 years in prison boils down to the accused's decision to represent himself.

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John Hunter says 69-year-old Ivan Henry should bear some responsibility for his conviction after repeatedly refusing legal counsel during his 1982 sexual-assault trial.

Hunter says if an accused decides to represent himself and things go poorly he shouldn't be entitled to a "big payday" if the case is reviewed years later.

Henry is suing the provincial government in B.C. Supreme Court for up to $43 million after he spent nearly three decades locked up on 10 sexual-assault convictions before he was acquitted in 2010.

His acquittal focused on potentially useful evidence Crown or police withheld at the time, including sperm samples that didn't match Henry's blood type, contradictory victim statements and a compromising letter sent from a victim to an investigating officer.

The trial should wrap up this week and Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson is expected to reserve his decision.



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