Paralegal: Mark Cardy
Background: A couple in the autumn of life, Mr. P. and Ms. M., developed a relationship and moved in together in a retirement home. One day, Mr. P. was asked to work the Bingo. The players would give him a dollar per Bingo card. Ms. M. asked him for two cards. He gave her the cards but she did not give him the $2. He asked her for the money and she said she had to go get it from her room, but did not do so. Mr. P. approached her, put out his palm and asked for the $2 for her cards. She slapped his arm. He slapped her back (somewhere between elbow and shoulder). She staggered, but did not fall and made her way over to her seat. Staff called the police. Mr. P. was arrested and charged with assault. Both Mr. P. and Ms. M. were 85.
Goal: Mr. P. had lived a period of time approaching a century without acquiring a criminal record; he should not get one now! If convicted of the assault charge, he not only would have a criminal record, but the resulting sentence would almost certainly contain “no contact” terms with regards to Ms. M. But Mr. P. and Ms. M. had a relationship and they both lived in the same retirement home. The goal was to avoid conviction, allow the couple to have contact with each other and remain in the retirement home, while at the same time allowing Ms. M. to feel safe.
Strategy: Rather than go to trial, our strategy was to negotiate an outcome which met the goals but under conditions that would permit Ms. M. to feel safe. This strategy would require us to negotiate with the Crown to arrive at a resolution.