Digest: R v Kahnapace, 2018 SKPC 58

Date:October 18, 2019
 
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Reported as: 2018 SKPC 58

Docket Number: PC18054 , 991025086

Court: Provincial Court

Date: 2019-10-18

Judges:

  • Hinds

Subjects:

  • Criminal Law � Cross-examination on Statement
  • Criminal Law � Evidence � Circumstantial Evidence
  • Criminal Law � Evidence � Identification
  • Criminal Law � Evidence � Video Surveillance
  • Criminal Law � Identity

Digest: The accused was charged with four Criminal Code offences: 1) assault with a weapon, contrary to s. 267(a); 2) using a firearm while committing the indictable offence of assault with a weapon, contrary to s. 85(1)(a); 3) possessing ammunition while prohibited from doing so, contrary to s. 117.01(1); and 4) breach of an undertaking by failing to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, contrary to s. 145(3). The Crown argued that the accused was the person that took a shotgun out of a vehicle parked outside of a restaurant and, after pointing it at the victim, discharged it. The accused argued that the Crown did not meet the standard of proof on identity. The Crown asserted that they presented three forms of direct evidence establishing identity: 1) video surveillance recordings from the restaurant; 2) identification by the victim; and 3) identification by the accused�s friend. The Crown also relied on circumstantial evidence consisting of: clothing; DNA from a sweater; a spent shotgun cartridge seized from the parking lot of the restaurant and two shotgun shells from the pant pocket of the accused; and the left thumb print of the accused lifted from the vehicle mirror.
HELD: The court determined that the Crown proved the identity of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt and he was thus found guilty of all charges before the court. The leading authority on video surveillance evidence indicates that the video can be admitted at trial as an �objective silent witness� if the video is of good quality and gives a clear picture of the events and the perpetrator. The video surveillance was found to be of sufficient quality and clarity, showing the accused for a sufficient amount of time to allow the court to conclude that identification of the accused had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The court was cognizant of the inherent dangers in convicting on eyewitness identification alone. The victim had been drinking quite a bit, and that could have affected his observations and recollection. He
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