Mistrial declared in Newfoundland and Labrador cop’s sex assault trial

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“I asked that the judge recall all 14 jurors and do the proper selection process and then charge them to begin deliberations again,” Strickland said. “The defence asked for a mistrial.”

In a statement emailed to reporters Friday afternoon, the defence said the error was “unfortunate, but it was fatal.”

“We didn’t ask for a mistrial so much as we acknowledged to the court that the error meant the jury was improperly constituted, and a mistrial was the only available remedy,” the statement said.

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A new trial — which would be Snelgrove’s third on this charge — is set to be scheduled next week, the prosecution said.

“I think in complete fairness to the complainant, who’s testified twice, she’s probably going to have to do some thinking and search within herself … and decide if she can bear another trial,” Strickland said, adding that he is prepared to go to trial again.

Snelgrove first stood trial in 2017 for allegedly sexually assaulting the woman in her home. The verdict was successfully appealed in 2019. The retrial began last week in the auditorium of a former St. John’s school to allow for social distancing.