Ontario Criminal


Judge’s ultimate findings not compromised by problematic comments

Appeal by accused from his conviction on charges of sexual interference and uttering death threat. Accused committed these offences against 8-year-old daughter of his partner. Complainant was 16 at time of trial. Accused was 44-years old at time of trial and he denied allegations against him. He claimed that trial judge failed to assess reliability of complainant’s evidence, he relied on irrelevant considerations in assessing complainant’s credibility and he applied different standards to evidence of complainant and appellant. Appeal dismissed. Judge’s reasons were thorough, detailed and thoughtful. They were responsive to live issues that arose from evidence. They met test for sufficiency. Judge did not fail to properly assess both credibility and reliability of complainant’s evidence. He adequately addressed concerns that arose from her testimony. Regarding reliance on irrelevant factors, judge made some comments that might be regarded as unhelpful or out of place in proper assessment of credibility. However, considering evidence as a whole and judge’s reasons in their entirety integrity of his ultimate findings were not compromised by problematic comments. Judge did not hold accused’s evidence to higher standard than complainant’s evidence.

R. v. C. (F.)

(Nov. 30, 2011, Ont. S.C.J., Trotter J., File No. 218/09) 98 W.C.B. (2d) 81 (11 pp.).

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