Accused appealed conviction for several offences, including possession of loaded prohibited weapon. Accused argued that trial judge failed to consider third branch of test in R. v. W.D., reversed burden of proof, and exposed defence evidence to higher degree of scrutiny than Crown’s evidence. Appeal dismissed. Nothing in trial judge’s reasons supported accused’s arguments. Trial judge addressed evidence by reference to several specific factual issues that arose in evidence. Trial judge thoroughly reviewed evidence, clearly appreciated where defence and Crown evidence conflicted, and gave various reasons for accepting Crown evidence in relation to those factual issues. Trial judge considered inconsistencies in evidence of various police officers who described melee that occurred, but explained in detail why those inconsistencies did not undermine credibility of witnesses. There was nothing to suggest uneven scrutiny of evidence. Several parts of accused’s evidence were, on their face, incredible, and it hardly took any unwarranted degree of scrutiny to reject that evidence.
R. v. Francois (Mar. 27, 2014, Ont. C.A., Doherty J.A., John Laskin J.A., and K. Feldman J.A., File No. CA C55431) 113 W.C.B. (2d) 326