Sunderland, Ontario — One of the most infamous cases in Canada is the one concerning the kidnapping and murder of Christine Jessop.
On October 3rd 1984, Jessop was last seen alive after being dropped off by her school bus while her parents were at work. The police quickly decided on Paul Morin as the subject who was the loner neighbour to the Jessop family.
Only two months later Jessop's body had been found in a wooded area more than 50 kilometres east in Sunderland, Ontario.
She had been raped and stabbed to death.
Morin was arrested for Jessop's murder in April 1985. He was acquitted at his first trial in 1986. The Crown exercised its right to appeal the verdict on the grounds that the trial judge made a fundamental error prejudicing the Crown's right to a fair trial.
In 1987 the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial. The retrial was delayed until 1992 by Morin's own appeals based on the Crown's non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence and by other issues, including the double jeopardy rule.
He was re-investigated and found guilty in 1992 and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Kingston Penitentiary. In 1995 a new DNA test was conducted that proved his innocence.
An inquiry culminating in the Kaufman Report into Morin's case also uncovered evidence of police and prosecutorial misconduct, and of misrepresentation of forensic evidence by the Ontario Center of Forensic Sciences.
Morin received $1.25 million in compensation from the Ontario government.