The Crown sheet (or Crown brief/synopsis) is a shorthand reference tool that the police prepare for the prosecution that summarizes the anticipated evidence against an accused should the matter proceed to trial.
The Crown sheet narrative represents the prosecution’s case taken at its highest. The credibility of the witnesses and the reliability of their anticipated evidence has yet to be tested by cross-examination under oath. Furthermore, some of the information alluded to in the Crown sheet may not be admissible at trial. Finally, independent investigation by the Defence may yield additional information unknown to the police that supports a compelling alternative account.
Defence counsel are also aware that the Crown sheet sometimes paints an incomplete picture of a police investigation or the contents of a witness statement. For example, in one case, the Crown sheet indicated that a complainant had selected the accused as the perpetrator with 100% certainty from a photo lineup. The Crown sheet neglected to mention, however, that the same complainant had also selected four other people from the same photo lineup as the perpetrator, each with 100% confidence.