Court of Appeal erred by applying authorities concerning unreasonable verdict rather than misapprehension of evidence

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Court of Appeal erred by applying authorities concerning unreasonable verdict rather than misapprehension of evidence

Accused charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault. Victim was beaten by three men and left unconscious in the road where he was fatally run over by a passing car. Trial judge concluded that accused had participated in beating and convicted him of manslaughter. Court of Appeal set aside conviction and ordered new trial. Court of Appeal found that trial judge had erroneously believed there was evidence that before the fatal attack the accused had made plans to commit a robbery with his co-accused. Appeal allowed and conviction restored. Verdict was not unreasonable and Court of Appeal erred by applying authorities concerning unreasonable verdict rather than misapprehension of the evidence. Trial judge’s reasons demonstrate no misapprehension of the evidence. Trial judge concluded that accused took part in attack on victim based on circumstantial evidence unrelated to any plan to commit a robbery.

R. v. Sinclair (July 28, 2011, S.C.C., McLachlin C.J.C., Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella, Charron, Rothstein and Cromwell JJ., File No. 33359) Decision at 84 W.C.B. (2d) 349 reversed. 95 W.C.B. (2d) 552 (51 pp.).

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