Appeal court orders new trial for Halifax taxi driver acquitted of sex assault

HALIFAX — A Halifax taxi driver acquitted of sexually assaulting a drunk and unconscious woman has been ordered to again stand trial in a case that sparked a national debate over intoxication and the capacity to consent to sex.

In a unanimous decision released Wednesday, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal concluded the original trial judge erred in law by finding there was no evidence of lack of consent.

A three-justice panel found provincial court Judge Gregory Lenehan ignored or disregarded circumstantial evidence showing the complainant did not agree to sexual activity, or that she lacked the capacity to do so.

“Here, the trial judge discounted the substantial body of circumstantial evidence of lack of consent or capacity to consent as ‘absolutely no evidence,’” the 30-page decision says.

“On this ground alone, the Crown is entitled to a new trial … In addition, the trial judge made findings for which there was no evidence. In doing so, he erred in law.”

Under the Criminal Code, the Crown was obligated to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the complainant was not capable of understanding the nature of what was happening to her.

Just Posted

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

Regional sewage line moving ahead despite concerns

Cost sharing among concerns of municipalities involved in Sylvan Lake-to-Red Deer sewage line

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by Maxime Bernier

MONTREAL — Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by former Tory… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Montreal couple hoping city lets them keep beloved pet pig named Babe

MONTREAL — Babe the pig spends his days sleeping, going for walks… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Northbound QEII traffic to return to northbound lanes as contruction continues south of Red Deer

Though the Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange still has months until completion, some… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month