Parties’ behaviour was that of mutual provocation

Ontario criminal | Assault


Parties’ behaviour was that of mutual provocation

Trial of accused for offence of assault causing bodily harm. Accused and complainant were both 16 years old and they had dispute. They agreed to meet and to fight each other. At their meeting, there was some discussion about avoiding fight via apology. Complainant, however, did not want to apologize and accused and complainant got into fist fight. Complainant got worst of it. He suffered bruise to his cheek, cut to top of his head and his two front teeth were smashed back from their normal position. Teeth could not be replaced. They were supported by wires and further dental surgery would be required. Accused convicted. He did not act in self-defence. Parties’ behaviour was that of mutual provocation to engage in behaviour that involved application of force to one another. Both intent to cause and causing of actual bodily harm were necessary to vitiate consent. Neither party assaulted other or could believe that they had been assaulted until bodily harm beyond trifling or transient had been caused. That only became case when accused struck blow that injured complainant’s teeth.
R. v. W. (A.) (July 12, 2012, Ont. C.J., Blacklock J., File No. 11-Y438) 103 W.C.B. (2d) 143 (17 pp.).

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