This sketch by artist Felicity Don shows Garry Handlen at his first court appearance after his arrest in December 2014.

Crown used false confession from man accused of B.C. girl’s murder, defence says

Garry Handlen is on trial for the 1978 killing of 12-year-old Monica Jack

A defence lawyer for a man on trial for the murder of a 12-year-old girl in B.C. more than 40 years ago says the Crown relied on a false confession and failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Patrick Angly told jurors in closing arguments at the B.C. Supreme Court trial that undercover police provided and promised inducements to Garry Handlen during a sting operation in Ontario in 2014.

READ MORE: Crown tells jury to accept undercover confession of B.C. girl’s murder

Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack in Merritt in 1978.

Angly says undercover officers used a so-called Mr. Big operation that led to his client’s confession but the law recognizes that those targeted by such police practices can falsely confess to crimes.

Angly says Handlen found friends and a family in the supposed crime group he joined and was faced with losing his job.

However, the Crown has said Handlen had plenty of friends and work, and argued he was a suspicious person who even asked if he was being recorded before his alleged confession, which was captured by a hidden video camera.

The Canadian Press

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