Evidence accused fled scene to avoid liability for possession of stolen vehicle was proof of requisite intent

Supreme court | Criminal Law | Appeals | Appeal from conviction or acquittal

Accused was charged with eight offences related to home break-in in which car was stolen. Accused was convicted of four offences, including fleeing scene of accident without leaving his name and address. Accused’s counsel conceded his guilt on charge of fleeing scene of accident during final submissions. Accused appealed unsuccessfully. Accused appealed to Supreme Court. Appeal dismissed. Conviction was not miscarriage of justice. Accused had control of vehicle involved in accident. He fled scene without providing name or address. In absence of evidence to contrary, this was proof of requisite intent for offence. Evidence on which accused relied was that he fled scene to avoid criminal liability for possession of stolen vehicle. This was not evidence to contrary. Rather, it was evidence that accused intended to avoid criminal or civil liability from his care, charge, or control of the vehicle involved in accident. Such intent fell within ambit of mens rea established by expression “intent to escape civil or criminal liability” in s. 252(1). Accused suffered no prejudice from trial counsel’s admission that elements of offence had been made out.

R. v. Seipp (2018), 2018 CarswellBC 60, 2018 CarswellBC 61, 2018 SCC 1, 2018 CSC 1, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., Brown J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellBC 226, 2017 BCCA 54, D. Smith J.A., Bennett J.A., and MacKenzie J.A. (B.C. C.A.).

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