That Toronto police felt justified in arresting three Chinese shopkeepers who had taken it upon themselves to infuriate the police by doing their job for them served to ensure that public censure would descend upon the police officers in question who were instrumental in charging David Chen and two of his associates with criminal offences. That they enlisted the help of a known thief to assist in the prosecution coloured their own offences even more bruisingly.
And even though Justice Ramez Khawly spoke rather expansively of his own impressions and concerns in a matter that should have clearly focused on the egregious behaviour of the police toward Chinatown shopkeeper David Chen, he found it lawfully needful to uphold the rights of ordinary citizens who are forced to act in their own defence when policing authorities do not.
As was clearly the case in this instance, and many others as well, when shop owners alert police to theft and the response is non-existent.
"The only conclusion I come to is that I have a reasonable doubt." This appeared to be the concluding argument of Justice Khawly to himself, leading him to the inescapable judgement that: "All such doubts must resolve in favour of the defence. All charges against you are dismissed."
Had they not been dismissed - and they should have been summarily dismissed, without putting these three men through a two-year nightmare of apprehension - the public would doubtless have risen up in moral umbrage.
That is, even greater anger than has already been expressed in this absurd case. Where those who are materially harmed by the obnoxious insistence of a known petty thief that he can rob honest shopkeepers of their profit, with impunity.
Which has been the case in the past, since by the time a police response occurred, in most instances the thief would long since have left the scene. In those alternative situations where the aggrieved shopkeepers detained the thief, he would face justice.
Which would mean a period of time in prison to atone for his crimes, and then swift recidivism, for the penalties never seemed to quite penetrate the consciousness of Anthony Bennett sufficiently to detain him from ongoing thefts.
As much as Justice Khawly criticized David Chen for his imperfect English, and for his presumed attempts to avoid clarification in instances where he was closely questioned to be held to account for his unfathomable act of self-defence, justice was served.
Not without the stings of imperious criticism from the bench, but in the final analysis it is the criminal justice system that has been held up to ridicule, and the power-jealous response of the police that has elicited scorn from the public.
And it is the graceful response of David Chen, in thanking his supporters and the public and the news media for their encouragement - and urging that people work together for a common purpose in pursuit of civil decency that won the day.