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

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read