R. v. L.
Mr. L was not a stranger to the criminal justice system. She had a lengthy criminal record for thefts, mainly to help support her gambling addiction. This time was different though. Ms. L was charged with assault with a weapon and uttering a death threat to a former acquaintance; the complainant was the ex-girlfriend of Mr. L’s friend. The allegations were that, unprovoked, Ms. L went up to the complainant, threatened her, pushed her into the wall and then struck her in the head three times with a beer bottle.
The complainant’s testimony lacked some detail and was inconsistent with her police statement at points. She was also combative when Ms. Bristow was asking her questions. She tried to evade answering questions about her own personal experience as an accused person and rolling her eyes at one point. Her friend, an alleged witness to the altercation, also gave a statement to the police that was inconsistent in parts with the complainant’s evidence. Interestingly, her friend showed up to testify, but then disappeared on the break and did not return. Both the complainant and her friend had a criminal record for crimes of dishonesty.
Ms. L did not testify in her defence, but two people who were also at the bar with her testified. Neither party saw an altercation between Ms. L and the complainant. One of them had been with Ms. L from the time they arrived at the bar until the time she had left.
The judge found that Ms. Bristow had raised a reasonable doubt as to the allegations of assault with a weapon and uttering a death threat. He held that while his first reaction is that all of the witnesses appeared to be credible and reliable, it was clear that someone was lying. As the judge put it, it was cloudy as to what happened that night. However, that was all that was needed to secure an acquittal for Ms. L on both of the charges.
If you have a criminal matter and would like to contact Ms. Bristow for a free consultation, please contact her by phone at 416-598-5741 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Past successes do not guarantee future successes
Here, I post various success stories I have obtained for my clients in court.