Gurpal Singh Brar v. Her Majesty the Queen

(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law - Appeal, Evidence.


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Criminal law – Appeal – Evidence – Did the Court of Appeal erred in failing to conclude that the learned trial Judge’s misapprehension of the evidence resulted in a miscarriage of justice

The applicant and the victim worked together. They did not get along. On May 12, 2006, two altercations took place in two separate work areas and in front of numerous witnesses. The first incident took place in the shipping building. Several witnesses saw a blade of some sort in the applicant’s fist and observed blood on the victim’s stomach area. After the first altercation, a dispute ensued whereby the victim and another man chased the applicant to the main building. One witness heard the applicant yell “He’s going to kill me.” Other witnesses noted that the victim was struggling to run and appeared injured. None of the witnesses observed a blade in the applicant’s hand in the main building. At some point, the applicant inflicted three stab wounds upon the victim: one in his left upper arm, one in his left upper abdomen and one in his lower left chest. The latter wound was fatal. The applicant claimed that the fatal wound was inflicted during the second altercation in self defence. The trial judge found that there was no air of reality to the claim of self defence and convicted the applicant of second degree murder. The Court of Appeal found that the trial judge did misapprehend one piece of evidence but found it was not material and as such, there was no miscarriage of justice. The appeal was dismissed.