Medical evidence equivocal as to cause of complainant’s injuries

Ontario criminal | Assault

ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM

Medical evidence equivocal as to cause of complainant’s injuries

Two accused, both police officers, jointly charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm. Complainant alleged that officers severely beat him while arresting him for public intoxication. Officers’ account of arrest was that complainant resisted, there was struggle, complainant fell hard to ground, and that officers brought him under control and handcuffed him, on ground, without ever striking him. There was laceration to complainant’s scalp that required stitches and he had two broken ribs. Appeal allowed, new trial ordered. Trial judge’s misapprehension of medical evidence played “essential part in reasoning process” resulting in his conclusion that officers had “repeatedly struck” complainant with “blows” and that there had been beating as opposed to fall during arrest. Medical evidence, standing alone, was equivocal as to cause of complainant’s injuries, and court had already found complainant not credible or reliable. Court was not satisfied that trial judge made necessary findings for convictions to rest on Crown’s independent theory of “unlawful arrest”.

R. v. Ing (Mar. 1, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., Code J., File No. AP 70/11; AP 71/11) 100 W.C.B. (2d) 399 (11 pp.).

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