Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Plea is presumed valid

R v Husain, 2012 ONCA 697 deals with the presumption that a plea is valid. Absent some evidence to the contrary a plea made in open court will be assumed to be valid and a lack of precision in facts admitted or omissions to agree to specific details will not be taken to void the plea. The Court holds:

[8]          At the time the appellant entered his plea, he was represented by counsel and, as noted above, he does not raise an ineffective assistance of counsel ground on appeal.  There is accordingly a presumption that his plea was valid.  The appellant has not rebutted that presumption.
[12]       Given the agreed statement of facts and the guilty plea, it was open to the trial judge to find that the appellant's offer to pay the second complainant for sex (which was accepted) amounted to procuring or that his subsequent offer that his friends would pay her for sex amounted to an attempt to procure.  The appellant's plea was an admission to all the elements of the offence – including that the second complainant was not a prostitute.  Moreover, the agreed facts clearly depict the second complainant as being "groomed" for sex, which is inconsistent with her having been a prostitute at the time she met the appellant.  We note that earlier in the relationship, she refused to perform a lap dance for the appellant.  Having made an informed plea, the appellant seeks to take advantage of imprecision in the wording of the agreed facts.  He has not rebutted the presumption that his plea was valid.


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