Gabriel Boudreau v. His Majesty the King

(Quebec) (Criminal) (As of Right)


Criminal law — Appeals — Unreasonable verdict — Evidence — Whether trial judge arrived at unreasonable verdict by drawing illogical inferences and by drawing inferences that were clearly contradicted by evidence.


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.

Following a trial in the Court of Québec, the appellant, Gabriel Boudreau, was convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm as a result of a collision between him and the complainant. On appeal, the appellant argued that the trial judge had erred by finding that he had taken part in a race with another driver, by improperly assessing the complainant’s testimony and by failing to consider some of the evidence. The majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, as it was of the view that the verdict was not unreasonable, illogical or irrational. The trial judge, who had direct evidence on some aspects and circumstantial evidence on others, could convict the appellant of the offence based on that evidence.

The dissenting judge would have allowed the appeal, set aside the conviction and ordered a new trial. In her view, the trial judge had made two errors that undermined the reasonableness of the verdict. She had rejected the testimony on the basis of an illogical inference even though the appellant’s version was consistent with the site of the damage and was confirmed by the complainant’s testimony. In addition, the judge’s finding that the complainant had been driving in the left lane well before the impact was contradicted by the complainant’s testimony.

Lower Court Rulings

September 8, 2021
Court of Quebec

Conviction for dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm
March 16, 2023
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Québec)

2021 QCCA 1532 (French only)
Appeal dismissed