Considerable deference was owed to trial judge’s assessment of evidence

Supreme court | Criminal Law

Post-trial procedure

Appeal from conviction or acquittal

Considerable deference was owed to trial judge’s assessment of evidence

40 years ago, accused sexually abused his nephews and niece, but latter did not report him to the police until 2009. Accused was charged with indecent assault and gross indecency. Trial judge found victims’ evidence to be reliable and credible and found accused’s evidence to be not reliable. Accused was convicted as charged. Accused appealed, arguing that trial judge made several errors and rendered unreasonable verdict. Majority at Court of Appeal noted that to be successful, accused had to show that verdict was not verdict that properly instructed jury, acting judicially, could reasonably have rendered or that trial judge’s reasoning process was so irrational, or so at odds with evidence, that it vitiated verdict. In present case, considerable deference was owed to trial judge’s assessment of evidence. In particular, trial judge did not err in finding that accused was not credible. Trial judge did not err by relying on testimony of victims, albeit given 40 years after fact. His findings were well explained and appeal was dismissed. Accused appealed to Supreme Court of Canada. Appeal dismissed. Appeal should be dismissed for reasons of majority of Court of Appeal.
R. c. Savard (2017), 2017 CarswellQue 2095, 2017 CarswellQue 2096, 2017 SCC 21, 2017 CSC 21, Wagner J., Gascon J., Côté J., Brown J., and Rowe J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2016), 2016 CarswellQue 1699, 2016 QCCA 380, Chamberland J.C.A., Morin J.C.A., and Dutil J.C.A. (C.A. Que.).

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

COVID-vaccine skeptic doctor loses anti-SLAPP case at Court of Appeal

Information and Privacy Commissioner calls for retention of public input in Policing Act amendments

Ontario Superior Court confirms party’s entitlement to broad medical and rehabilitation benefits

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds estate's right to full range of damages in a vehicle accident case

Legal groups voice concerns over Ford repeatedly saying he wants 'like-minded' judges

Upcoming FACL conference focused on AI’s impact on profession, advancing careers of Asian lawyers

Most Read Articles

Legal groups voice concerns over Ford repeatedly saying he wants 'like-minded' judges

COVID-vaccine skeptic doctor loses anti-SLAPP case at Court of Appeal

Legal Innovation Zone launches program to help legal tech entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses

Upcoming FACL conference focused on AI’s impact on profession, advancing careers of Asian lawyers