Supreme Court


Examination of witnesses

Supporting credibility

Trial judge did not rely on inconsistencies to bolster truth of complainant’s testimony

Accused was convicted of sexual assault. During cross-examination, accused challenged reliability of complainant’s testimony on basis of inconsistencies between her statements to police and her testimony. However, trial judge found inconsistencies involved only peripheral circumstances while complainant’s relation of central facts was consistent and inconsistencies had not impaired her reliability respecting sexual assault. Accused was unsuccessful on appeal as it was held trial judge’s use of prior statement was sensible and well-support and had not constituted error in law. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge found inconsistencies involved only insignificant peripheral matters and had not relied on inconsistencies to bolster truth of complainant’s testimony. It was appropriate use of prior consistent statement and did not constitute error of law.

R. v. Cain (2018), 2018 CarswellNS 364, 2018 CarswellNS 365, 2018 SCC 20, 2018 CSC 20, Wagner C.J.C., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellNS 949, 2017 NSCA 96, Joel E. Fichaud J.A., van den Eynden J.A., and Scanlan J.A. (N.S. C.A.).

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