Dissent found fundamentally inconsistent verdicts

Supreme court | 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 daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from Law Times.

Recent articles & video

Insurance lawyers reveal their referral philosophies

Court of Appeal rules auto insurer not liable for parental negligence claim stemming from accident

Refugee lawyers speak out on federal election campaign rhetoric

Employees of Aboriginal Legal Services join major union

Pro Bono Ontario to rename Ottawa help centre after David Scott

Chasm in opinions remains after statement of principles repeal

Most Read Articles

New equality measure approved by Law Society of Ontario as the statement of principles gets repealed

Judges call out lack of support for legal aid, pro bono amid MAG presence

Chasm in opinions remains after statement of principles repeal

Law students, paralegals can continue working on the same summary conviction matters