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CASE DETAILS

Charge(s): Uttering Threats of Death / Bodily Harm
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Our Client(s): Mr. C
Complainant(s): Ontario Provincial Police and Ms. B
Year: 2018
Lawyer: Philip Stiles
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Please Note: Past results not predictive of future results.

The Background

When two people in a long-term relationship have a heated fight, emotions often run high and both sides can feel that the other side wronged them in some way. In 2018 Mr. C and his partner got into one such argument.

Mr. C returned to their home after work, where Ms. B and one of their children were. Since Mr. C and Ms. B had argued recently, Mr. C had been spending most of his spare time in their basement. On this evening he sat in the central area of the home, and Ms. B demanded that he leave. When he refused the two began to argue.

During the argument, Ms. B and their child went to the master bedroom and closed the door. Ms. B and Mr. C continued arguing through the door for some time. During this time Ms. B alleges that Mr. C threatened to kill her. Mr. C denies this, and claims that Ms. B told him he should leave and “go die”.

Mr. C exited the residence during the argument, and he was found outside by police when they arrived. He was charged with uttering threats and placed under arrest.

The Goals

Cases like this add additional complications for the accused. Mr. C was unable to return to his own home because of a no-contact order with Ms. B. This placed not only larger financial burdens on him, but emotional ones as well, as it limited his ability to see his children. To ensure Mr. C could return home to his family and life quickly and with as few interruptions as possible, we needed to have the charges withdrawn.

The Strategy

The Crown’s job is not to manage the relationships of private individuals. Part of their mandate is to ensure public safety, and so if we could show the Crown that Mr. C was not a risk to public safety we would have a strong case for a withdrawal of charges.

The specific member of the public the Crown was concerned with was Ms. B. We had Mr. C enrol in the Partner Assault Response Program (PAR). This 12-session educational program is designed to address issues of domestic violence, anger, conflict resolution, and healthy relationships. The completion of this program would allow us to show the Crown that Mr. C was taking active steps to ensure there was no risk in allowing him to return to his life.

Once Mr. C began the program Phil Stiles met with the Crown to discuss withdrawal of charges.

The Results

The Crown agreed that the program would be satisfactory. They even agreed to allow Mr. C and Ms. B to contact each other again after Mr. C completed a few of his sessions. The Crown withdrew the charges and Mr. C signed a peace bond, agreeing to be of good behaviour for 12 months. Mr. C was thrilled to receive such a favourable outcome without needing to spend time and money on lengthy proceedings and a trial.

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