R. v. Kong (V.), 2005 ABCA 255

JudgeFraser, C.J.A., Russell and Wittmann, JJ.A.
Neutral Citation2005 ABCA 255
Citation2005 ABCA 255,(2005), 371 A.R. 90 (CA),[2006] 5 WWR 405,371 AR 90,53 Alta LR (4th) 25,200 CCC (3d) 19,40 CR (6th) 225,[2005] AJ No 981 (QL),354 WAC 90,[2005] A.J. No 981 (QL),371 A.R. 90,(2005), 371 AR 90 (CA),354 W.A.C. 90
Date10 August 2005
CourtCourt of Appeal (Alberta)

R. v. Kong (V.) (2005), 371 A.R. 90 (CA);

    354 W.A.C. 90

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2005] A.R. TBEd. AU.015

Her Majesty The Queen (respondent) v. Vuthy Kong (appellant)

(0301-0161-A; 2005 ABCA 255)

Indexed As: R. v. Kong (V.)

Alberta Court of Appeal

Fraser, C.J.A., Russell and Wittmann, JJ.A.

August 10, 2005.

Summary:

The accused was a member of one of two groups of young persons that fought in an alley outside an after-hours club. The victim was killed by a stab wound to the chest. The accused, charged with second degree murder, denied stabbing the victim, blaming another member of his group. Alternatively, the accused pleaded self-defence under s. 34(2). The trial judge declined to leave self-defence with the jury, ruling that there was no air of reality to the defence. The jury found the accused guilty of manslaughter. The accused appealed, submitting that self-defence (s. 34(1)) should have been left with the jury.

The Alberta Court of Appeal, Wittmann, J.A., dissenting, dismissed the appeal. The trial judge did not err in finding that there was no air of reality to the defence of self-defence.

Criminal Law - Topic 232

General principles - Statutory defences or exceptions - Justification of force to prevent crime - Section 27 of the Criminal Code entitled a person to, inter alia, use as much force as was reasonably necessary to prevent the commission of certain offences - The Alberta Court of Appeal, per Fraser, C.J.A., stated that actions taken to repel a personal assault, whether actual or apprehended, did not attract the protection of s. 27 - To do so would render the self-defence provisions of s. 34 redundant - See paragraphs 138 to 139.

Criminal Law - Topic 239

General principles - Statutory defences or exceptions - Self-defence - [See both Criminal Law - Topic 4386 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 1294

Murder - Defences - Self-defence - Evidence - [See both Criminal Law - Topic 4386 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 1295

Murder - Defences - Self-defence - Excessive force - [See both Criminal Law - Topic 4386 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 4386

Procedure - Charge or directions - Jury or judge alone - Judge's duty to determine if defence available on evidence - The accused was a member of one of two groups that fought in an alley - The accused and two companions were armed with concealed knives - One member of the other group hit a member of the accused's group in the head with a bottle - A fist fight developed - A member of the other group (victim) came towards the accused - The victim was the same height as the accused, skinnier (100 lbs) and displayed no weapon - The accused did not know the victim - The accused stepped towards the victim, making a punching motion with the knife and stabbing the victim deep into his abdomen - The victim died and the accused, charged with murder, was convicted of manslaughter - At issue was whether the trial judge should have instructed the jury on self-defence under s. 34(1) of the Criminal Code - Section 34(1) provided that a person being unlawfully assaulted without provocation was entitled to repel the assault with force that was not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm, where the force was no more than reasonably necessary to enable the accused to defend himself - The Alberta Court of Appeal affirmed that there was no air of reality to the s. 34(1) defence - Following a "limited weighing" of the evidence, there was no air of reality respecting two of the required elements (i.e., no intent to cause grievous bodily harm and no more force than was necessary was used) - On the basis of the evidence most favourable to the accused, the accused did not fear bodily harm from the victim and the intentional stabbing was disproportionate and unnecessary to the threatened assault by an unarmed person no bigger than the accused - Based on the accused's own evidence, he could have fled (others did), but he did not want to "disappoint" his friend by fleeing -See paragraphs 1 to 139, 156 to 157.

Criminal Law - Topic 4386

Procedure - Charge or directions - Jury or judge alone - Judge's duty to determine if defence available on evidence - The accused was a member of one of two groups that fought in an alley - The accused and two companions were armed with concealed knives - One member of the other group hit a member of the accused's group in the head with a bottle - A fist fight developed - A member of the other group (victim) came towards the accused - The victim was the same height as the accused, skinnier (100 lbs) and displayed no weapon - The accused did not know the victim - The accused stepped towards the victim, making a punching motion with the knife and stabbing the victim deep into his abdomen - The victim died and the accused, charged with murder, was convicted of manslaughter - At issue was whether the trial judge should have instructed the jury on self-defence under s. 34(2) of the Criminal Code - Section 34(2) provided that a person who was unlawfully assaulted and, in defending himself, caused death or grievous bodily harm, was acting in self-defence if he reasonably apprehended a risk of death or grievous bodily harm and reasonably believed he could not have preserved himself from that risk except by killing the victim - The Alberta Court of Appeal affirmed that there was no air of reality to a defence under s. 34(2) - There was no evidence that the accused apprehended death or grievous bodily harm by the victim and no evidence that the accused reasonably believed that he had to stab the victim to preserve himself - See paragraphs 140 to 146, 158 to 159.

Criminal Law - Topic 5211

Evidence and witnesses - Admissibility and relevancy - Flight and other post-offence behaviour of accused - The Alberta Court of Appeal, per Fraser, C.J.A., stated that "post-offence conduct, or what is sometimes called after-the-fact conduct of an accused, may, depending on the circumstances, have some evidentiary value in rebutting defences put forward by an accused which are based on the absence of the required culpable mental state, including self-defence" - See paragraph 83.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Cinous (J.), [2002] 2 S.C.R. 3; 285 N.R. 1; 210 D.L.R.(4th) 64; 162 C.C.C.(3d) 129, refd to. [paras. 4, 167].

R. v. Hebert (D.M.), [1996] 2 S.C.R. 272; 197 N.R. 277; 77 B.C.A.C. 1; 126 W.A.C. 1; 107 C.C.C.(3d) 42, refd to. [paras. 4, 177].

R. v. Brisson, [1982] 2 S.C.R. 227; 44 N.R. 1, refd to. [paras. 4, 180].

R. v. Point (D.L.) (2003), 327 A.R. 96; 296 W.A.C. 96 (C.A.), leave to appeal refused (2004), 333 N.R. 191 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 4].

R. v. McIntosh (B.B.), [1995] 1 S.C.R. 686; 178 N.R. 161; 79 O.A.C. 81; 95 C.C.C.(3d) 481, refd to. [para. 9, footnote 5].

R. v. Lemky (T.R.), [1996] 1 S.C.R. 757; 194 N.R. 1; 73 B.C.A.C. 1; 120 W.A.C. 1; 105 C.C.C.(3d) 137, refd to. [para. 13].

R. v. Park (D.G.), [1995] 2 S.C.R. 836; 183 N.R. 81; 169 A.R. 241; 97 W.A.C. 241; 99 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 14].

R. v. Pintar (J.) (1996), 93 O.A.C. 172; 110 C.C.C.(3d) 402 (C.A.), refd to. [paras. 15, 218].

R. v. Trombley (E.) (1998), 110 O.A.C. 329; 126 C.C.C.(3d) 495 (C.A.), affd. [1999] 1 S.C.R. 757; 238 N.R. 95; 120 O.A.C. 302, refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Pawliuk (R.S.); R. v. Brown (C.R.) (2001), 148 B.C.A.C. 165; 243 W.A.C. 165; 151 C.C.C.(3d) 155; 2001 BCCA 13, refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Pappajohn, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 120; 32 N.R. 104; 14 C.R.(3d) 243; [1980] 4 W.W.R. 387; 111 D.L.R.(3d) 1; 52 C.C.C.(2d) 481, refd to. [paras. 16, 109, footnote 62].

R. v. Fontaine (J.), [2004] 1 S.C.R. 702; 318 N.R. 371; 183 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 18 C.R.(6th) 203; 237 D.L.R.(4th) 577; 2004 CarswellQue 814; 2004 SCC 27, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. Arcuri (G.), [2001] 2 S.C.R. 828; 274 N.R. 274; 150 O.A.C. 126; 2001 SCC 54, refd to. [paras. 19, 176].

R. v. Thibert (N.E.), [1996] 1 S.C.R. 37; 192 N.R. 1; 178 A.R. 321; 110 W.A.C. 321, refd to. [para. 21].

R. v. Kandola (J.S.) (1993), 27 B.C.A.C. 226; 45 W.A.C. 226; 80 C.C.C.(3d) 481 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 61].

R. v. Buzzanga and Durocher (1979), 49 C.C.C.(2d) 369 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 65].

R. v. Seymour (J.), [1996] 2 S.C.R. 252; 197 N.R. 81; 76 B.C.A.C. 1; 125 W.A.C. 1; 106 C.C.C.(3d) 520; 135 D.L.R.(4th) 225, refd to. [para. 65].

R. v. Tennant (1975), 23 C.C.C.(2d) 80 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 70].

R. v. Paice (C.D.J.) (2005), 332 N.R. 159; 262 Sask.R. 171; 347 W.A.C. 171; 2005 SCC 22, refd to. [para. 78].

R. v. Clark (1983), 44 A.R. 141; 5 C.C.C.(3d) 264 (C.A.), refd to. [paras. 78, 156].

R. v. Peavoy (D.M.) (1997), 101 O.A.C. 304; 117 C.C.C.(3d) 226 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 83].

R. v. White (R.G.) and Côté (Y.), [1998] 2 S.C.R. 72; 227 N.R. 326; 112 O.A.C. 1; 125 C.C.C.(3d) 385, refd to. [para. 83].

R. v. Howie (G.) (2003), 179 B.C.A.C. 312; 295 W.A.C. 312 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 83].

R. v. Haughton (D.), [1994] 3 S.C.R. 516; 179 N.R. 1; 79 O.A.C. 319; 93 C.C.C.(3d) 99, refd to. [para. 87, footnote 54].

R. v. Creighton, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 3; 157 N.R. 1; 65 O.A.C. 321; 83 C.C.C.(3d) 346; 23 C.R.(4th) 189; 105 D.L.R.(4th) 632; 17 C.R.R.(2d) 1, refd to. [para. 91].

R. v. Nelson (1953), 105 C.C.C. 333 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 97].

R. v. Grant (R.B.), [2002] O.A.C. Uned. 263 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 103].

R. v. Cadwallader, [1966] 1 C.C.C. 380 (Sask. C.A.), refd to. [paras. 103, 207, footnote 60].

R. v. Latimer (R.W.), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 3; 264 N.R. 99; 203 Sask.R. 1; 240 W.A.C. 1; 2001 SCC 1, refd to. [para. 106].

Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Canada (Attorney General), [2004] 1 S.C.R. 76; 315 N.R. 201; 183 O.A.C. 1; 2004 SCC 4, refd to. [para. 111].

R. v. Baxter (1975), 27 C.C.C.(2d) 96 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [paras. 114, 181].

R. v. Ward (1978), 4 C.R.(3d) 190 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 117].

R. v. Lavallee, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 852; 108 N.R. 321; 67 Man.R.(2d) 1; 55 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 76 C.R.(3d) 329; [1990] 4 W.W.R. 1, refd to. [para. 117, footnote 65].

R. v. McInnes, [1971] 3 All E.R. 295 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 117].

R. v. Northwest, [1980] 5 W.W.R. 48; 22 A.R. 522 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 117].

R. v. Desveaux (1986), 13 O.A.C. 1; 26 C.C.C.(3d) 88 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 130].

R. v. Pétel (C.), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 3; 162 N.R. 137; 59 Q.A.C. 81; 87 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 26 C.R.(4th) 145, refd to. [paras. 141, 186].

R. v. Osolin, [1993] 4 S.C.R. 595; 162 N.R. 1; 38 B.C.A.C. 81; 62 W.A.C. 81; 86 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 109 D.L.R.(4th) 478; 26 C.R.(4th) 1; 19 C.R.R.(2d) 93, refd to. [para. 173].

R. v. McConnell (L.) et al. (1995), 169 A.R. 321; 97 W.A.C. 321 (C.A.), revd. [1996] 1 S.C.R. 1075; 196 N.R. 307; 184 A.R. 117; 122 W.A.C. 117, refd to. [para. 178].

R. v. Martin (1985), 47 C.R.(3d) 342 (Que. C.A.), refd to. [para. 181].

R. v. Setrum (1976), 32 C.C.C.(3d) 109 (Sask. C.A.), refd to. [para. 182].

R. v. Proulx (G.A.) (1998), 110 B.C.A.C. 62; 178 W.A.C. 62 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 186].

R. v. Kandola (J.S.) (1993), 27 B.C.A.C. 226; 45 W.A.C. 226 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 190].

R. v. Roberts (W.W.) (1998), 115 B.C.A.C. 311; 189 W.A.C. 311 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 195].

Palmer v. R. (1971), 55 Cr. App. Rep. 223 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 208].

R. v. Ogal (1928), 50 C.C.C. 71 (Alta. C.A.), refd to. [para. 208].

R. v. Preston (1953), 106 C.C.C. 135 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 208].

R. v. Antley, [1964] 2 C.C.C. 142 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 208].

R. v. Nelson (1992), 54 O.A.C. 14; 71 C.C.C.(3d) 449 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 209].

R. v. Fraser (1984), 65 N.S.R.(2d) 231; 147 A.P.R. 231; 16 C.C.C.(3d) 250 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 219].

R. v. Grey (P.J.) (1992), 17 B.C.A.C. 272; 29 W.A.C. 272 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 219].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 27 [para. 12]; sect. 34(1), sect. 34(2) [para. 11].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Colvin, Eric, Principles of Criminal Law (2nd Ed. 1991), p. 216 [para. 114, footnote 63].

Coughlan, S., Duress, Necessity, Self-Defence and Provocation: Implications of Radical Change (2002), 7 Can. Crim. L. Rev. 147, p. 172 [para. 5, footnote 2].

Fletcher, George P., Rethinking Criminal Law (1978), pp. 855, 857, 858, 859 [para. 5, footnote 2].

Paciocco, David M., Getting Away with Murder: The Canadian Criminal Justice System (1999), p. 273 [para. 6, footnote 3].

Paciocco, David M., Sorting Out the Law of Self-Defence (1999), p. 3 [para. 88, footnote 55].

Roach, Kent, Criminal Law (3rd Ed. 2004), pp. 144 [para. 71, footnote 43]; 331, 333 [para. 107, footnote 61].

Stuart, Donald, Canadian Criminal Law: A Treatise (4th Ed. 2001), p. 442 [para. 210].

Trotter, G.T., R. v. Pawliuk: Further Efforts to Clarify Self-Defence (2001), 40 C.R.(5th) 56, p. 63 [para. 15, footnote 6].

Counsel:

M.R. Bloos, Q.C., for the appellant;

E.J. Tolppanen, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on September 14, 2004, before Fraser, C.J.A., Russell and Wittmann, JJ.A., of the Alberta Court of Appeal.

On August 10, 2005, the judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered and the following opinions were filed:

Fraser, C.J.A. - see paragraphs 1 to 149;

Russell, J.A. - see paragraphs 150 to 160;

Wittmann, J.A., dissenting - see paragraphs 161 to 222.

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