Court of Appeal orders new trial for William Sandeson

William Sandeson

Nova Scotia's appeal court has ordered a new trial for William Sandeson, a former Dalhousie University medical student who was convicted of first-degree murder three years ago in the August 2015 death of Taylor Samson.

A three-member panel says the trial judge erred in not declaring a mistrial after learning a private detective employed by the defence gave information to Halifax police, something that was initially unknown to Sandeson's defence.

Justice David Farrar says the late disclosure at trial of the collaboration between police and private detective Bruce Webb, "significantly infringed" William Sandeson's right to "full answer and defence and to a fair trial."

Farrar also says Justice Josh Arnold's ruling that Webb's information was not material to the murder case against Sandeson restricted Sandeson's ability to respond to the merits of the Crown's case.