Case Study: Assault
Mr. C. is the father of J. and he was driving his daughter to hockey practice. J. was worried about being late for practice and was voicing her concerns. While on route to her hockey practice, Mr. C. began to mock her about being worried about being late. As a result, the two began to argue and Mr. C. decided to not take J. to hockey practice and then turned the vehicle around and drove home. Once they were back at the residence, J. and Mr. C. were situated in the living room/hallway at the top of the stairs to the house. J. was upset and kicked a box of items down the stairs. Mr. C. then grabbed J. by the neck and shoved her outside and into the snowbank by placing her face first into the snowbank on the deck. This deck is directly adjacent to the landing at the top of the stairs to their house. J. stated that her father had not choked her and that he had just grabbed her by the neck and pushed her to the ground, and then shoved her face in the snow. Afterwards J. stood up and tried to hit Mr. C. J. was yelling at her father. J. got extremely frustrated and threw a clay dog and it broke. Mr. C. then grabbed J. by the arm and threw her outside. L., the young sister, stated that she also observed her father grab her sister by the neck. PC W. observed a red mark on the right side of J.’s neck. The mark was consistent with having been grabbed in that area. As a result, Mr. C. was arrested and charged. Mr. C. denied much of what J. alleged, and had quite a different version of the incident.
Mr. C. was charged with assault, contrary to section 266 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
While the Crown was not unsympathetic to Mr. C’s situation, they were unwilling to offer Mr. C. a peace bond and drop the criminal assault, even if he were to take counselling. The Crown attorney wanted Mr. C. to plead guilty in exchange for a suspended sentence. The defence could argue for a discharge and no criminal record.
Our goal was to have Mr. C. reunited with his daughter as soon as possible. He was on bail not to have any contact with her.
As we were unable to negotiate a resolution of the charge to a non criminal result, we set the matter for trial. Our defence would be consent fight, self-defence and defence to property.
Justice K. accepted Mr. C.’s evidence and did not accept the evidence of the daughter. Mr. C. was acquitted.