R. v. Hunt, (1977) 12 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 262 (NFCA)

JudgeFurlong, C.J.N., Morgan and Gushue, JJ.A.
CourtNewfoundland Court of Appeal
Case DateMay 19, 1977
JurisdictionNewfoundland and Labrador
Citations(1977), 12 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 262 (NFCA)

R. v. Hunt (1977), 12 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 262 (NFCA);

    25 A.P.R. 262

MLB headnote and full text

R. v. Hunt

Indexed As: R. v. Hunt

Newfoundland Supreme Court

Court of Appeal

Furlong, C.J.N., Morgan and Gushue, JJ.A.

May 19, 1977.

Summary:

This case arose out of the punishment of the accused for contempt in the face of the court. After being convicted and fined for driving his snowmobile on the highway, the accused stated "Hah! I'll pay the fine right now if you wants me to and I'll tell you right now that I'll be operating me machine on the road again and the next time they won't catch me!" Upon being rebuked by the trial judge, the accused stated "Huh, I spose fellows is not even allowed to smile around here". The trial judge sentenced the accused to seven days' imprisonment for contempt. The accused appealed.

The Newfoundland Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and set aside the accused's conviction for contempt. The Newfoundland Court of Appeal held that, while the accused's statements were contemptuous, the trial judge should have explained to the accused the nature of the contempt charge and given him an opportunity to answer the charge and to apologize.

Contempt - Topic 963

What constitutes contempt - Court proceedings - Oral statements - After being convicted and fined for driving his snowmobile on the highway, the accused stated "Hah! I'll pay the fine right now if you wants me to and I'll tell you right now that I'll be operating me machine on the road again and the next time they won't catch me!" - Upon being rebuked by the trial judge, the accused stated "Huh, I spose fellows is not even allowed to smile around here" - The Newfoundland Court of Appeal held that the accused's statements were contemptuous in that they were insulting to the court and intended to bring the court into disrepute - See paragraphs 6-8 and 22.

Contempt - Topic 3325

Punishment - Imprisonment - When appropriate - After being convicted and fined for driving his snowmobile on the highway, the accused stated "Hah! I'll pay the fine right now if you wants me to and I'll tell you right now that I'll be operating me machine on the road again and the next time they won't catch me!" - Upon being rebuked by the trial judge, the accused stated "Huh, I spose fellows is not even allowed to smile around here" - The accused was cited for contempt by the trial judge and sentenced to seven days' imprisonment - The Newfoundland Court of Appeal held that a small fine was an appropriate punishment and that imprisonment was unduly harsh - See paragraphs 14 and 23.

Contempt - Topic 5006

Practice - General principles - Contempt in the face of the court - The Newfoundland Court of Appeal stated that no person should be punished for contempt of court unless the specific offence charged against him is distinctly stated and an opportunity of answering it and of apologizing to the court is given to him - See paragraphs 6-13 and 18-21.

Cases Noticed:

Chartrand v. The Queen (1971), 21 C.R.N.S. 49, appld. [para. 10].

R. v. Taylor, ex parte Crepeau, [1965] 4 C.C.C. 81, dist. [para. 8].

Re Pollard (1968), L.R. 2 P.C. 106, appld. [para. 20].

R. v. Strang, 62 W.W.R.(N.S.) 310, folld. [para. 20].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 8 [para. 18]; sect. 9 [para. 4]; sect. 440 [paras. 2, 19].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Halsbury's Laws of England (3rd Ed.), vol. 8, p. 5. [para. 22].

Counsel:

Paul Stokes, for the appellant;

David Hurley, for the respondent.

This case was heard on April 14, 1977, at St. John's, Newfoundland, before FURLONG, C.J.N., MORGAN and GUSHUE, JJ.A., of the Newfoundland Court of Appeal.

On May 19, 1977, a judgment of the Newfoundland Court of Appeal was delivered and the following opinions were filed:

FURLONG, C.J.N., - see paragraphs 1 - 14,

MORGAN, J.A., - see paragraph 15,

GUSHUE, J.A., - see paragraphs 16 - 24.

To continue reading

Request your trial