Ontario Criminal


Trial judge did not close his mind to other version of events

Accused appealed his conviction for assault with weapon upon his wife. Accused and complainant got into argument because accused wanted complainant’s mother to move out of their home. Although complainant told 9-1-1 operator that accused had hit her with stick, she subsequently stated she had injured her arm by running into pillar out front of home. Accused submitted that trial judge took judicial notice that complainant’s injuries were inconsistent with her testimony at trial, namely that she received injury by accident after running into pillar and that Crown was required to call expert evidence in this regard and as such trial judge could not make such finding in absence of expert evidence. Appeal dismissed. Court could not find and conclude that trial judge was taking judicial notice of nature of actual injury. Trial judge was analyzing complainant’s trial testimony regarding accused pursuing her out of house and that she went running out of house blindly and hit stone pillar. Trial judge was entitled to make this finding of credibility and he was entitled as trier of fact, to reject complainant’s trial testimony and he gave reasons for doing so. Trial judge did not close his mind to other version of events.

R. v. Palani (Oct. 9, 2013, Ont. S.C.J., Fragomeni J., File No. SCA(P) 2175/12) 109 W.C.B. (2d) 445.

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