Colin Hugh Tweedie v. His Majesty the King

(Nova Scotia) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law — Evidence — Assessment — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in finding that the trial judge erred by not applying the statutory presumption in s. 320.31(4) of the Criminal Code to the s. 320.14(3) offence — Whether the Court of Appeal erred by allowing the respondent to raise new issues and argument for the first time on appeal — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in law — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in finding that the trial judge did not consider wilful blindness?


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Mr. Tweedie was driving a vehicle that struck and killed a young girl on a bicycle at dusk. He did not stop and later told police he thought he had hit a deer. After Mr. Tweedie’s arrest, breath samples were taken and analyzed for blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Mr. Tweedie was taken into custody and ultimately charged with four offences: dangerous driving causing death; having a BAC equal to or exceeding 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood within two hours after ceasing to operate a vehicle and thereby causing death; failure to stop, without reasonable excuse, after knowing or being reckless as to whether his vehicle had been involved in an accident resulting in death of a person; and obstruction of justice. On the second day of trial, Mr. Tweedie changed his plea to guilty for the obstruction of justice charge. He admitted to lying to the police about who was driving. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia acquitted Mr. Tweedie of the remaining charges. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, set aside the acquittals, and ordered a new trial.

Lower Court Rulings

March 25, 2022
Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division)

SYD 500387
Applicant pled guilty to obstruction of justice; acquittals entered for remaining charges
January 19, 2023
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

2023 NSCA 11, CAC 514477
Appeal allowed: acquittals set aside, new trial ordered