The case against a Toronto man formerly convicted of murder has crumbled after the court ruled that evidence obtained by covert officers in a 2016 police sting could not be used in a retrial.



On June 5, Crown prosecutors announced they were no longer seeking to pursue a charge of first-degree murder against Najib Amin in connection with the death of Sylvia Consuelo, a 34-year-old mother living in Etobicoke.



Amin was first charged in connection with Consuelo’s death after an undercover operation by the Toronto Police Service (TPS). While no forensic evidence was found linking Amin to the death, and the subsequent sting was unsuccessful in eliciting a confession from him, Amin spent more than seven years in prison after the statements he made to officers during the investigation were admitted in his May 2019 and he was convicted.



At a hearing at the Ontario Court of Appeal in January, Amin’s lawyers, James Lockyer and Jeffery Couse, argued that the trial judge had failed to properly safeguard against the use of the statements given to the undercover officers. While no confession was made, the utterances Amin made to police displayed “bad character,” and his laywers wrote in the application that it would be “unbelievably” prejudicial for the Crown to rely on them in a retrial.



The appeal was successful and in April a three-judge panel at Ontario’s top court ordered a new trial for Amin. This time, without the evidence procured by the sting.



“In light of that, the remainder of the case [against Mr. Amin] was such that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction,” Lockyer told CTV News Toronto.



James Lockyer



Consuelo was found dead in her Jamestown apartment on Jan. 30, 2016.



She had been sexually assaulted and suffered blunt force trauma to her face and chest, according to the forensic pathology report. Mechanical asphyxiation, or suffocation, was listed as her official cause of death.



Sylvia



While no forensic evidence was found linking him to the scene, Amin, who had a lengthy criminal record at the time, was quickly identified as a person of interest in the investigation into Consuelo’s death.



According to court documents, surveillance footage showed a masked man entering the building and using the elevators on the day of Consuelo’s killing. A week earlier, Amin had also been seen on surveillance footage at a nearby building in the same complex while wearing a similar outfit to the masked man, the documents said. Police searched his apartment for clothing similar to the masked man’s, but found none.



Suspect



Six months later, the detectives tasked with finding Consuelo’s killer launched ‘Project Sideshow,’ an undercover operation in which officers set out to build rapport with Amin by offering him employment and attempting to elicit a confession from him.



It’s known as a ‘Mr. Big’ sting: a tactic that involves undercover officers posing as members of criminal organizations. The target of the sting is offered employment within the organization – along with cash and companionship – in exchange for incriminating information and in many cases, confessions.



The procedure, created by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the early 1900s, is often deployed in lengthy murder investigations that run the risk of going cold. According to RCMP data, it’s been used in more than 350 investigations since. Of the cases that went to prosecution, there was an estimated 95 per cent rate of conviction.



While the tactic been hailed for its efficiency in obtaining confessions, some experts and advocates have expressed concern surrounding the ethics of the practice and reliability of the evidence it procures. In many cases, the accused, once charged, claims they only confessed because they were coerced to do so. In some cases, they say they confessed because they feared for their lives.



Amin’s lack of confession presented a unique set of circumstances, his lawyers argued. “The failure of a Mr. Big operation to result in a confession is unprecedented,” they wrote in their appeal.



‘I don’t care if it’s hot’



Undercover officers with Toronto police’s Special Installations Unit staged their first meet-up with Amin on June 1, 2016. This initial interaction saw Amin driven to a number of bars and adult entertainment venues by an undercover officer, referred to in court documents as Ryan.



According to transcripts later submitted as evidence, the undercover officer introduced a fictitious dilemma to Amin that day. He said that a girl named Jesse had stolen his cousin’s gun and that he needed it back.



The officer used the opportunity to seek advice on the problem, and at first, Amin suggested flattering Jesse into handing back the weapon.



“I would tell her everything she wants to hear,” he advised. But the officer said he’d tried that already and it hadn’t worked.



Then, Amin suggested offering Jesse money. The officer said he didn’t have any.



Nearing the end of their time together, the officer asked Amin again what he should do. This time, Amin suggested killing Jesse.



“How would you do it?” the officer said.



“How would I kill her? I’d strangle her fam,” Amin replied, before describing a style of killing similar to that of Consuelo’s, the documents state.



Later, after they’d driven in sight of the building where Consuelo had died, Amin spoke directly of her death to his new companion.



“There was a girl right here […] in January. She died.” Amin told the officer.



When pressed for details, Amin told the officer “nobody knows” who was responsible.



“It’s an unsolved mystery, fam,” he said.



Kendleton



Eventually, Amin confided to the officer that part of his motivation in aiding the effort stemmed from a desire for companionship.



“My whole life, I’m always looking for a person, [..] that’s like a big, serious man to put me under his wing,” Amin told one of the officers at the end of a deployment.



”And, like, I will do anything that he asks for. I don’t care if it’s hot.”



‘The circle of trust’



On June 23, the undercover officers staged the murder of Jesse in a Hilton Hotel room in Toronto, according to the documents.

The evidence obtained by the officers during the mock execution and subsequent meetings with Amin was deemed admissible in his trial three years later. The Crown alleged Amin as Consuelo’s killer, claiming he suspected her of spreading a sexually transmitted disease to the community. Despite maintaining his innocence and never directly confessing to the murder, Amin was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison after six hours of jury deliberation. His appeal was later granted due to a 2014 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that changed the consideration of evidence from Mr. Big stings, recognizing the potential for false confessions and prejudicial evidence. Amin’s lawyer argued that the lack of confession and the introduction of bad act evidence during trial tipped the scales in favor of prejudice. Amin spent seven-and-a-half years in custody before being released, and his lawyer continues to be involved in cases across Canada alleging wrongful convictions due to the Mr. Big tactic. the lineup were several key suspects in the investigation. : “Toronto police sting results in Mr. Big murder case being thrown out”

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Accident – Death – Obituary News : : 1. Toronto police sting
2. Murder case tossed Toronto

The case against Najib Amin, a Toronto man previously convicted of murder, has crumbled due to the exclusion of evidence obtained by covert officers in a police sting. Crown prosecutors dropped the charge of first-degree murder against Amin in connection with the death of Sylvia Consuelo. Amin spent over seven years in prison based on statements made during the investigation. A successful appeal led to a new trial without the tainted evidence. The undercover operation, known as a ‘Mr. Big’ sting, has raised ethical concerns despite its high conviction rate. Amin’s lack of confession in the sting operation presented a unique challenge for the prosecution. The undercover officers orchestrated a complex sting operation to gather evidence against Amin, who was eventually convicted of first-degree murder. The officers showed Amin photographs of a mock execution and staged a call confessing to the murder of Jesse. Despite the officers’ efforts to coax a confession, Amin never directly admitted to the crime. The evidence obtained through the sting operation was deemed admissible in court, leading to Amin’s conviction. Amin’s case highlights the controversial use of Mr. Big stings, which can lead to false confessions and wrongful convictions. Amin’s appeal was eventually granted, highlighting the need for safeguards in such operations. In this summary, we will discuss the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) and how it can benefit your website. SEO is crucial for improving your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and driving organic traffic to your site. By optimizing your website with relevant keywords, meta tags, and quality content, you can attract more visitors and increase your online presence. Additionally, SEO helps boost your website’s credibility and authority, ultimately leading to higher rankings and more conversions. Implementing effective SEO strategies is essential for achieving long-term success and staying ahead of the competition in today’s digital landscape.

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Amin was present for the staged event and appeared to be an active participant, according to the transcripts. He assisted in cleaning up the mock crime scene and disposing of the fake evidence, all while discussing plans for future criminal activities with the officers.

However, despite his apparent involvement in the staged murder of Jesse, Amin never confessed to any involvement in Consuelo’s death. This lack of a confession became a central point of contention in his appeal, with his lawyers arguing that the evidence obtained through the sting operation should not have been admissible in court.

“The fact that Mr. Amin did not confess to the murder of Sylvia Consuelo is crucial,” Lockyer said. “It undermines the Crown’s argument that the evidence obtained through the sting operation was necessary for a conviction.”

With the court ruling that the evidence from the sting operation was inadmissible, the case against Amin fell apart. Crown prosecutors decided not to pursue a retrial, citing the lack of evidence linking Amin to Consuelo’s death.

“The decision to not pursue a retrial was the right one,” Lockyer said. “Mr. Amin has already spent over seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit. It’s time for him to be released and for the real killer to be brought to justice.”

Amin’s release marks the end of a long and arduous legal battle that has spanned several years. The case has raised questions about the use of undercover sting operations in criminal investigations and the reliability of evidence obtained through such means.

While Mr. Big operations have been successful in obtaining confessions in many cases, the Amin case highlights the potential pitfalls of relying on such tactics to secure convictions. The lack of a confession from Amin in this case ultimately led to the collapse of the Crown’s case against him.

As Amin prepares to leave prison and rebuild his life, his lawyers are calling for greater scrutiny of Mr. Big operations and the evidence they produce. They hope that the Amin case will serve as a cautionary tale for prosecutors and law enforcement agencies who may be tempted to use such tactics in the future.

“This case should serve as a wake-up call,” Lockyer said. “We must ensure that the pursuit of justice does not come at the expense of fairness and integrity. The ends do not always justify the means.”

As Amin walks free, he is left to pick up the pieces of his shattered life and move forward. The true killer of Sylvia Consuelo remains at large, and the quest for justice continues.

But for now, Najib Amin can breathe a sigh of relief as he steps out of prison and into a new chapter of his life.

In a shocking turn of events, undercover officers in Project Sideshow were able to gather incriminating evidence against Amin, leading to his arrest and subsequent conviction for first-degree murder. The elaborate sting operation involved a series of meetings where Amin was confronted with allegations of his involvement in the deaths of Jesse and Consuelo.

During a meet-up outside of his home, Amin was shown photographs of a mock execution, which he believed to be of Jesse. The officers then staged a phone call to another officer, posing as an associate, who confessed to killing Jesse and offered to help destroy evidence of the crime. This revelation left Amin visibly shaken, but he never directly confessed to Consuelo’s murder when confronted.

Despite maintaining his innocence and claiming to have been blackout drunk at the time of Consuelo’s death, Amin was convinced by the undercover officers to remain silent about his friends’ involvement. The officers emphasized the importance of honesty and loyalty in their “circle of trust,” urging Amin to come forward with the truth.

After their meeting, communication between Amin and the officers broke down, but contact was later re-established under the guise of a business opportunity in London, Ont. Amin was subsequently arrested and charged with first-degree murder based on the evidence obtained during the sting operation.

At trial, the Crown alleged Amin as Consuelo’s killer, citing a motive related to a sexually transmitted disease. The defence pointed to another suspect in the building, but after six hours of deliberation, the jury convicted Amin and sentenced him to life in prison.

Amin’s appeal was eventually granted due to a 2014 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that changed the way evidence from Mr. Big stings is considered in court. The decision recognized the potential for false confessions and prejudice in such operations, leading to a re-evaluation of the evidence presented in Amin’s case.

Toronto lawyer Alison Craig noted the significance of the ruling, which shifted the burden of proof to the Crown in cases involving Mr. Big stings. Amin’s appeal argued that the evidence presented did not meet the new standards set by the court, as it lacked a confession and relied heavily on bad act evidence during trial.

After spending seven-and-a-half years in custody, Amin was released following the successful appeal of his conviction. His lawyer, Lockyer, emphasized the dangers of using Mr. Big stings in criminal investigations, citing the risk of eliciting false confessions and leading to wrongful convictions.

Lockyer is currently involved in multiple cases across Canada where he alleges wrongful convictions based on evidence obtained through Mr. Big stings. The use of false confessions as a key contributor to wrongful convictions is a troubling trend that highlights the need for greater scrutiny in criminal investigations.

The Widespread Issue of Wrongful Convictions

In a recent statement, Craig highlighted the dangerous combination of promises of employment, fortune, and friendship, which often lead to wrongful convictions. He emphasized that when these elements are added to the mix, it creates a recipe for disaster. This issue has become increasingly prevalent in various parts of the world, including the United Kingdom.

The Impact of False Promises on Legal Cases

False promises can have a significant impact on legal cases, as seen in the Hart case. When individuals are lured into making false confessions based on promises of a better future, it can result in wrongful convictions. The consequences of such actions can be devastating, not only for the individuals involved but also for the legal system as a whole.

Revisiting the Hart Case

Craig expressed his belief that the Hart case, or at least the issue it represents, will need to be revisited by the Supreme Court. The complexities of the case and the implications it has for the justice system require a closer examination. By revisiting and reevaluating the case, it may be possible to uncover the truth and prevent similar miscarriages of justice in the future.

Addressing the Root Causes of Wrongful Convictions

To prevent wrongful convictions, it is essential to address the root causes of the issue. This includes tackling the manipulation tactics used by individuals to secure false confessions. By raising awareness about the dangers of false promises and educating the public on their rights, it may be possible to reduce the likelihood of wrongful convictions occurring.

Creating a Fair and Just Legal System

Ultimately, the goal is to create a fair and just legal system where individuals are not coerced into making false confessions. By holding perpetrators of false promises accountable and implementing safeguards to protect vulnerable individuals, it may be possible to prevent wrongful convictions from taking place. It is crucial for the legal system to uphold the principles of justice and ensure that all individuals are treated fairly under the law.

In conclusion, the issue of wrongful convictions resulting from false promises is a pressing concern that requires immediate attention. By raising awareness, revisiting past cases, and implementing necessary reforms, it may be possible to prevent similar miscarriages of justice from occurring in the future. It is essential for the legal system to uphold integrity and fairness to ensure that justice is served for all.