School-yard Scuffle: Assault (S. 266 of the Criminal Code of Canada) & Breach of Bail Conditions:
Facts: Moses, a 16 year-old high school student, was involved in a school-yard tussle and was charged with assault. Moses was also charged with breaching his bail conditions – failure to “keep the peace and be of good behaviour” – that arose from a previous incident.
Moses’ altercation occurred while he and his friends were skateboarding during their lunch hour. A skateboard accidentally veered into a female classmate who was eating lunch in the area. Her boyfriend took offence and approached Moses and his friends. Words were exchanged and ultimately some pushing and shoving occurred. Unfortunately for Moses, the incident got reported to the school principle and charges were laid. Moses decided to go to trial after considering the pros and cons of his case in discussion with Joshua Clarke.
Result: – At trial, Moses was acquitted on both the assault and breach charges. Joshua Clarke was able to successfully cross-examine the Crown’s own witnesses (Moses’ classmates) to expose the trivial nature of the school-yard fight. Without requiring Moses to take the stand, Mr. Clarke was able to show that there was no evidence to substantiate the assault charge. While the Crown prosecutor stubbornly attempted to find Moses guilty of breaching his conditions to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, Mr. Clarke successfully highlighted the problems with finding a breach even after the assault charge had been dropped.