Yasin Abdulle v. His Majesty the King

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law — Evidence — Admissibility — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in holding that the trial judge properly admitted instances of past gang violence, in which the applicant was not involved, to impute a gang motive to the applicant — Whether the Court of Appeal’s decision undermines the rigorous approach to bad character evidence set out by this Court’s decision in R. v. Handy, 2002 SCC 56?


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The applicant and his co-accused both fired shots at Mr. Ahmed and his companions. One of them fired a shot that struck Mr. Ahmed in the neck and he died. The Crown characterized the shooting as a planned and deliberate murder that capped a cycle of escalating violence between the Tandridge Cripz gang and a rival gang. The applicant submitted that it was self-defence. The Crown brought a pre-trial application seeking the admission of evidence of past gang violence and to qualify two police officers to provide expert opinion evidence. The evidence of the prior incidents of violence was a form of prior discreditable conduct and its admission was governed by the test set out in R. v. Handy, 2002 SCC 56, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 908. The trial judge applied the test set out in Handy and admitted six of the prior incidents of violence. After a trial by judge and jury, the applicant was convicted of second degree murder. The Court of Appeal dismissed the conviction appeal.

Lower Court Rulings

January 12, 2017
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

2017 ONSC 250, CR-15-5000062
Conviction entered: second degree murder
January 19, 2023
Court of Appeal for Ontario

2023 ONCA 32, C64153
Appeal dismissed