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APPEALS - Grounds - Miscarriage of justice

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 @ 8:46 AM  

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Appeal by Dhir from his conviction for assault. Dhir was charged with assault causing bodily harm. He was found guilty of the included offence of assault and sentenced to a conditional discharge with an 18-month probation order. He now raised an allegation of ineffective counsel leading to a miscarriage of justice. Dhir took the position that his trial counsel failed to effectively explain what was involved in consenting to the summary election outside the six-month limitation period. He also submitted that his counsel made inadequate preparation and failed to advise him with respect to an alibi defence. Dhir’s trial counsel was represented by her own counsel as an intervenor in these proceedings. She took the position that there was no factual basis for Dhir’s allegations of ineffective counsel.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The defence advanced by trial counsel fell within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance. The trial transcripts revealed trial counsel’s preparation with Dhir. Trial counsel was largely successful in defending Dhir to the extent that the trial judge rendered a guilty verdict with respect to the included and lesser offence. The Court did not accept Dhir’s evidence that he was counselled to lie to the court. Dhir failed to demonstrate on a balance of probabilities any professional incompetence by his trial counsel. There was no miscarriage of justice in the trial counsel’s conduct of the case.

R. v. Dhir, [2019] N.S.J. No. 60, Nova Scotia Supreme Court, M.H. Robertson J., February 14, 2019. Digest No. TLD-March182019004