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Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Criminal Law - CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Offences against person and reputation - Assaults - Sexual assault - Consent - Honest but mistaken belief

Appeal by the accused, Beck-Wentzell, from a conviction for sexual assault. The victim was the accused’s common-law spouse. The victim testified that the accused arrived home from work while she was asleep with their child. She testified that the accused entered the bedroom and began removing her sleepwear, indicating a desire for sexual intercourse. The victim testified that she told the accused she was not interested. She stated that the accused performed sexual intercourse while she repeated “no” throughout their interaction. The accused testified and denied sexually assaulting the complainant. The trial judge rejected the accused’s evidence and entered a conviction. On appeal, the accused claimed the trial judge misconstrued his evidence as a denial intercourse occurred. Instead, the accused maintained that his evidence was he ceased intercourse as soon as the victim voiced her non-consent. The accused relied on text messages with the victim in support of his position. The accused submitted the trial judge failed to consider his defence of honest but mistaken belief in consent. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 2:34 PM

NL case highlights undercover use of electronic communications by police, Charter rights

The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal granted an appeal and dismissed a cross-appeal of a provincial court ruling that focused on police evidence-gathering procedures. The case involved a man who communicated by means of a computer with a person he believed to be under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 11:28 AM

Blair launches nationwide tour to discuss pot legalization, regulation

Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, has started a cross-country tour to discuss the legalization and regulation of cannabis. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 11:19 AM

SENTENCING - Trafficking - Possession for the purpose of trafficking - Particular sanctions - Imprisonment - Sentencing considerations - Deterrence - Denunciation - Protection of the public - Totality principle

Sentencing of the offender, McCormick, for offences related to the possession and trafficking of fentanyl and other drugs. In February 2016, the offender was arrested for trafficking 3,000 fentanyl pills to undercover police in two separate transactions. A subsequent search of the offender's vehicle, residence and storage locker resulted in seizure of an additional 27,000 fentanyl pills, four kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of methamphetamine, 375 grams of MDMA, five grams of heroin, 22.5 kilograms of marijuana, three kilograms of hashish, approximately 600,000 other pills, $172,000 in cash, two firearms, and various agents used to filter and cut drugs. The drugs had a wholesale value of $625,000 and a street value of $2 million. In May 2016, while on bail, the offender was arrested and police seized 1,000 fentanyl pills, two kilograms of cocaine, 18 kilograms of marijuana, 4,285 alprazolam pills, and $4,736 in cash, leading to an additional charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking. The offender, age 53, pled guilty. He had a longstanding related criminal record dating back to 2000. The Crown sought an 18-year sentence, reflecting the recent epidemic of fentanyl overdose deaths. Defence counsel sought a sentence of eight to nine years. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 11:19 AM

EVIDENCE - Methods of proof - Identification

Appeal by the accused, Campbell, from a conviction for break, enter and robbery. Two people wearing hats and masked with bandanas entered a residence and robbed one of the occupants, Brydges, of money he had received earlier that day. One perpetrator, identified as Landry, did all of the talking while brandishing a knife. The second perpetrator, alleged to be the accused, stood silently behind Landry with a gun under his arm. Brydges gave the perpetrators $2,000 and they fled. Landry was arrested shortly thereafter. He pled guilty and implicated the accused. The sole issue at trial was identification. Brydges and another occupant testified that they recognized the accused as an individual they had previous social dealings with known as Mack Truck. They identified the accused and Landry from Facebook photos. Landry testified at the accused's trial and admitted his involvement but stated he was unable to remember the identity of the second perpetrator. The accused testified and acknowledged his nickname and prior dealings with the victims. He denied his involvement in the robbery. The trial judge rejected the accused's evidence and disbelieved Landry's inability to remember the robbery. The trial judge accepted the victims' identification evidence, concluding the accused was the second perpetrator. The accused appealed. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 2:32 PM

Ottawa pushes controversial trafficking bill

The federal government is moving to proclaim an inert Conservative-era human trafficking law containing a rebuttable evidentiary presumption of guilt that the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) contends is “likely unconstitutional” and should be scrapped. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Offences against person and reputation - Kidnapping, hostage taking and abduction

Trial of the accused, Brandon Blackmore, Gail Blackmore, and James Oler, for removal of a child from Canada for the purpose of a sexual offence. In 2004, the accused were members of a community of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at Bountiful, British Columbia. Brandon and Gail were the natural parents of MMB, age 13. The Crown alleged that Brandon, assisted by Gail, removed MMB from Canada and transported her to the United States to facilitate her marriage to Jeffs, the Prophet and President of the accused's Church. In a separate count, the Crown alleged that Oler removed his daughter, CEO, age 15, from Bountiful to the United States to facilitate her marriage to another member of the Church. Neither child testified at trial. The Crown relied upon marriage, personal and priesthood records kept by the Church and seized by law enforcement personnel in Texas in 2008. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Offences against person and reputation - Assaults - Sexual assault - Consent - Honest but mistaken belief

Appeal by the accused, Beck-Wentzell, from a conviction for sexual assault. The victim was the accused's common-law spouse. The victim testified that the accused arrived home from work while she was asleep with their child. She testified that the accused entered the bedroom and began removing her sleepwear, indicating a desire for sexual intercourse. The victim testified that she told the accused she was not interested. She stated that the accused performed sexual intercourse while she repeated "no" throughout their interaction. The accused testified and denied sexually assaulting the complainant. The trial judge rejected the accused's evidence and entered a conviction. On appeal, the accused claimed the trial judge misconstrued his evidence as a denial intercourse occurred. Instead, the accused maintained that his evidence was he ceased intercourse as soon as the victim voiced her non-consent. The accused relied on text messages with the victim in support of his position. The accused submitted the trial judge failed to consider his defence of honest but mistaken belief in consent. ... [read more]

Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 3:29 PM

Ontario Court of Justice appoints three new judges

Ontario has appointed three new judges to the Ontario Court of Justice, effective March 1, 2017. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Law students examine suspected wrongful convictions

Not applicable ... [read more]