Failure by trial judge to take steps to compel witness to answer question could not have had effect on verdict

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

Accused was convicted at trial of attempted murder, uttering death threat and break and enter while committing attempted murder. Appeal was allowed on basis that trial judge’s refusal to take further steps to elicit answer from witness was error of law. Crown appealed. Appeal allowed. Trial judge did not err in manner in which he addressed witness’ refusal to answer question. While it was open to trial judge to attempt to elicit answer from witness, it was proper exercise of discretion to continue with main proceedings and leave issue of potential contempt for another time. Even if trial judge committed error, this did not result in substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice. Failure by trial judge to take further steps to compel witness to answer question could not have had effect on verdict.

R. v. Normore (2018), 2018 CarswellNfld 382, 2018 CarswellNfld 383, 2018 SCC 42, 2018 CSC 42, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Côté J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); reversed (2018), 2018 CarswellNfld 45, 2018 NLCA 10, C.W. White J.A., M.F. Harrington J.A., and L.R. Hoegg J.A. (N.L. C.A.).

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