Ontario Criminal


Jury permitted to rely on doctrine of innocent agent to convict accused

Appeal by accused from her conviction of six counts of uttering forged document and six counts of trafficking in controlled substance. During her employment by doctor accused created false prescriptions for oxycodone. She did so at request of her brother. Brother or one of his accomplices would go to various pharmacies with forged prescription and they were able to acquire 500 oxycodone pills illegally. Brother pleaded guilty to possession for purpose of trafficking and he implicated accused. Appeal dismissed. When charge was read as whole it gave jury tools it needed concerning appropriate burden and standard of proof. Accused’s submission that, since she did not cause oxycodone to be dispensed she could not be held liable under common law doctrine of innocent agent, was rejected. Evidence established uninterrupted causal nexus between accused and pharmacists who dispensed pills. Jury was therefore permitted to rely on doctrine of innocent agent to convict accused as principal.

R. v. King (Jun. 20, 2013, Ont. C.A., M. Rosenberg J.A., Gloria Epstein J.A., and P. Lauwers J.A., File No. CA C54081, C55948) 107 W.C.B. (2d) 225.

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