Trial judge gave proper limiting direction on use of prior inconsistent statements made by accused’s partner

Ontario criminal | Criminal Law | Jury | Charging jury

After being stopped at RIDE program and accelerating away, accused was convicted of driving while disqualified and flight from police. Accused appealed convictions based on trial judge’s charge to jury. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge was not compelled to direct jury on accused’s silence when police arrived at his home as evidence of his guilt. Issue was clearly that accused had had called lawyer, not that he failed to speak to police. Trial judge gave proper limiting direction on use of prior inconsistent statements made by accused’s partner T. Direction to jury on prohibited use of prior inconsistent statements was clear. Trial judge did not err by telling jury that they could draw adverse inference against alibi evidence offered by T due to her refusal to speak to police. It was appropriate for trial judge to explain to jury that they could consider T’s refusal to be interviewed in evaluating her alibi evidence.

R. v. Rockey (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 11517, 2018 ONCA 646, M.L. Benotto J.A., G.T. Trotter J.A., and David M. Paciocco J.A. (Ont. C.A.); reversed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 3811, 2018 ONSC 1754, Hurley J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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