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Case against Hamilton Police Sergeant moves forward with judicial review

The team representing Hamilton Police Sergeant Helena Pereira has decided to move forward with a judicial review.It’s the latest development in an ongoing Police Services Act case that dates back to 2013.Pereira faced Police Services Act charges in connection to two incidents. She is seen on security camera footage in February 2013 slapping her cousin in the face after his arrest on drug charges. She was convicted of discreditable conduct in that incident. Pereira was also convicted of using unnecessary force and insubordination in connection to pushing a drunk prisoner into her cell while not in her police uniform. Those convictions came in July 2015.Pereira and her representation had accused bias in the case, arguing hearing officer Morris Elbers should have recused himself for going to lunch with prosecutor Gary Melanson. That bias motion was dismissed in January 2016.During a conference call today, Hamilton Police Association representative Brad Boyce said the application for a judicial review has begun, and should be filed within the next two weeks. If the review application is approved, the matter will move to a divisional court, where a judge will rule on whether any mistakes were made by hearing officer Elbers.If the judge rules in Pereira’s favour, the next steps are unclear, Boyce says, but adds it is possible the entire case could start from the beginning.If the judge rules against Pereira, Boyce believes the penalties Pereira will receive for her convictions are minimal.“The convictions were based on technicalities. These are situations that frequently occur within the police service,”  Boyce says. He believes Pereira will likely face a monetary penalty or more training if her convictions are ultimately upheld.The next conference call on the matter will take place on April 8.

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