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R.v. D.H.S.

Charge: Aggravated Assault

The client was out drinking at a bar with a group of his friends. The complainant was at the same bar drinking with his own group of friends.

When the bar closed, both groups independently went across the street to a restaurant to get take out food. A video from inside the restaurant shows a smiling and happy client holding the door open for his friends as they all walk out of the restaurant after picking up their order. Approximately 3 ½ minutes later, mayhem occurred on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.

The Crown called a total of 13 witnesses, including an expert witness, in an effort to prove that the one punch, thrown by the client, striking the complainant in the face and causing him to fall to the ground and bang his head off the pavement, was not delivered in self-defence.

I called 3 witnesses, in particular, the client, the client's former girlfriend, and a toxicologist to show that the complainant's blood alcohol level, as analyzed at the hospital, was so high that he and his friends must have been lying when they testified that they each had only a couple of drinks and a couple of beers.

The client's trial proceeded before a Judge sitting with a jury and took 12 days to complete. The jury found the client not guilty.

It is safe to conclude that the jury must have accepted my argument that the one punch thrown by the client was in self-defence since either force was used, or a threat of force was made, towards the client, or his girlfriend, and that he was justified and acted reasonably when he threw the first and only punch bringing the complainant to the ground.

This was one of the best jury trials that I have ever completed. My closing to the jury was barely over half hour. I concentrated on the evidence of only 3 of the 16 witnesses who testified: first, the only sober witness called by the Crown, secondly, the complainant's best friend who told as many lies as he thought necessary to deflect responsibility from himself for starting the fight and from his best friend who ended up in a coma for a period of time, and thirdly, the client who testified that he was scared that he was about to be attacked.

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