George Mathew v. His Majesty the King

(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case)


Criminal law - Criminal law — Sexual assault — Sexual history evidence — Credibility — Curative Proviso —How should prejudice to the accused be assessed when the Crown leads inadmissible sexual history evidence? — How does the curative proviso in s. 686(1)(b)(iii) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, apply in credibility cases?.


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At trial before judge alone in the Provincial Court of British Columbia, the applicant, George Mathew, was convicted of a single count of sexual assault.

The applicant appealed his conviction on the grounds that the trial judge erred by (1) admitting evidence of prior sexual conduct without holding a voir dire; and (2) reversing the burden of proof by finding that his failure to adduce corroborative evidence adversely affected his reliability. The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal. It applied the curative proviso in s. 686(1)(b)(iii) of the Criminal Code to any errors in relation to the two grounds of appeal.