R.A. v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Ontario) (Criminal) (As of Right)
(Publication ban in case) (Publication ban on party)
Criminal law - Judgments and orders, Reasons for judgment - Criminal law - Trials - Judgments - Reasons for judgment - Sufficiency of reasons - Whether Court of Appeal erred in rejecting accused’s argument that trial judge’s reasons were insufficient.
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The appellant was convicted of sexual interference at trial by a judge sitting without a jury. The offence was committed against the young daughter of his then-girlfriend. The appellant appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial judge had failed to resolve a critical inconsistency in the complainant’s evidence and failed to explain why he accepted the complainant’s evidence and rejected his evidence. The majority in the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. It was of the view that the trial judge’s analysis reflected a careful and sensitive approach to the evidence as a whole and that there was no error which would allow the court to intervene. Trotter J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial. In his opinion, the inconsistency in the complainant’s evidence was significant, and the trial judge’s failure to address it constituted a reversible error.
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