Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Failure to prove time of offence does not necessarily require acquittal

R v Jacques, 2013 SKCA 99: [64] In summarizing the proper approach a judge must take when the evidence has not proven that an offence was committed on the date specified in the indictment, Wilson J. said this at p. 53: Accordingly, when a court is faced with circumstances in which the time of the offence cannot be determined with precision or the information conflicts with the evidence, the first question that must be asked is whether time is either an essential element of the offence or crucial to the defence.  It will only be in cases where this first question is answered affirmatively that the trier of fact must then determine whether the time of the offence has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the answer to the first question is in the negative, a conviction may result even although the time of the offence is not proven, provided that the rest of the Crown's case is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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