Dissent found fundamentally inconsistent verdicts

Supreme court | Assault

COMMON ASSAULT

Dissent found fundamentally inconsistent verdicts

Accused was charged with sexual assault and uttering threats but convicted by jury of lesser and included offence of assault. Conviction upheld. Photographs tendered as evidence could establish assault. Pictures were admitted with consent of defence, and were taken at police station by police three days after assault. While it was always challenging to articulate what evidence jury relied upon and what evidence it chose to reject, it was possible for jury to convict on assault only. Crown noted lack of DNA evidence combined with inconsistencies in victim’s evidence, might have left jury in some doubt about sexual nature of assault. Court not satisfied it was necessary in circumstances for trial judge to have given specific warning as to lack of corroboration. Decision to instruct on lesser offence of assault was discretionary one that was entitled to deference. Dissent found rejection of complainant’s evidence on sexual assault, combined with conviction for assault based on photographs, were fundamentally inconsistent verdicts.
R. v. Yelle (Jan. 22, 2014, S.C.C., McLachlin C.J.C., Abella J., Rothstein J., Cromwell J., and Moldaver J., File No. 35361) Decision at 108 W.C.B. (2d) 602 was affirmed.  111 W.C.B. (2d) 402.

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

Qase, Vexxit offer new business development websites for lawyers

Ontario personal injury lawyer Darcy Merkur explains impact of COVID-19 on practice

Consent needed for remote or socially-distanced in-person trial, says CLA

Black Business Law Clinic revived to help business owners

Webpage launched to track COVID-19 impact on court, ADR procedures

What COVID-19 class actions will look like

Most Read Articles

New judges include human rights commissioner Renu Mandhane, bencher Gina Papageorgiou

Consent needed for remote or socially-distanced in-person trial, says CLA

What COVID-19 class actions will look like

Lawyers should be wary of assuming office equipment is a tax write-off when working from home