R. v. Plesh (G.W.), (1996) 74 B.C.A.C. 278 (YukCA)

JudgeGoldie, Finch and Ryan, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Yukon Territory)
Case DateJanuary 25, 1996
Citations(1996), 74 B.C.A.C. 278 (YukCA)

R. v. Plesh (G.W.) (1996), 74 B.C.A.C. 278 (YukCA);

    121 W.A.C. 278

MLB headnote and full text

Regina (respondent) v. Gregory Wayne Plesh (appellant)

(C.A. 94-YU289)

Indexed As: R. v. Plesh (G.W.)

Yukon Court of Appeal

Goldie, Finch and Ryan, JJ.A.

April 3, 1996.


The accused was convicted of sexual assault in the Yukon Territorial Court. He appealed against conviction.

The Yukon Court of Appeal, Ryan, J.A., dissenting, allowed the appeal, set aside the conviction and ordered a new trial.

Criminal Law - Topic 4300

Procedure - Trial judge - Duties and functions of - Respecting credibility of witnesses - At a sexual assault trial, the trial judge clearly found she did not disbe­lieve the accused because of his courtroom demeanour - She found both the com­plainant and accused were straightforward, clear and factual in the way they testified - She found the account of events by both was "very credible" - However, after reviewing the important aspects of both witnesses' evidence, the judge found the accused's testimony "illogical" and the complainant's "logical" - The judge pro­ceeded to "accept" the complainant's evi­dence as to what occurred, overlooking her earlier conclusions of believability - The Yukon Court of Appeal held that the trial judge failed to apply the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to the evidence and facts - See paragraphs 7 to 16.

Cases Noticed:

Faryna v. Chorny, [1951] 4 W.W.R.(N.S.) 171 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 21].

R. v. Twist (1980), 16 C.R.(3d) 94 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 27].


K.R. Ruddy and P. O'Brien, for the appel­lant;

R. Garson, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard in Vancouver, British Columbia, on January 25, 1996, before Goldie, Finch and Ryan, JJ.A., of the Yukon Court of Appeal. The decision of the court was delivered on April 3, 1996, and the following opinions were filed:

Finch, J.A. (Goldie, J.A., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 17;

Ryan, J.A., dissenting - see paragraphs 18 to 30.

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