Bradley David Barton v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Alberta) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case) (Certain information not available to the public)


Criminal law - Charge to jury - Appeals - Powers of Court of Appeal - Accused causes fatal injury - Accused claims injury occurred accidentally during consensual sexual activity - Accused’s aquittal by jury of first degree murder or manslaughter overturned on appeal - Whether Court of Appeal compromised fundamental fairness of appeal - Whether charge to jury or Court of Appeal erred in respect of motive, post-offence conduct, evidence of prior sexual activity, risk of reasoning prejudice or unlawful act manslaughter?


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

(Publication ban in case)

Cindy Gladue bled to death in the bathtub of Mr. Barton’s hotel room. An injury to her vaginal wall caused her death. Mr. Barton admitted that he hired Ms. Gladue as a sex trade worker. He claimed that the injury was an accident that occurred during consensual sexual activity and she bled to death in the bathtub after he fell asleep. Crown counsel argued at trial that Mr. Barton intentionally inflicted the fatal injury and was guilty of first degree murder. Alternatively, Crown counsel argued that Ms. Gladue did not consent to the conduct that caused the injury and Mr. Barton was guilty of manslaughter because he caused death in the course of a sexual assault. A jury acquitted Mr. Barton. The Court of Appeal granted an appeal, set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial.

Lower Court Rulings

March 18, 2015
Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

Acquittal by jury
June 30, 2017
Court of Appeal of Alberta (Edmonton)

1503-0091-A; 2017 ABCA 216
Appeal allowed, new trial ordered