APPEALS - Grounds - Miscarriage of justice

Law360 Canada (June 1, 2023, 6:27 AM EDT) -- Appeal by RW from his conviction for sexual interference and sexual assault. He argued he was deprived of his preferred mode of trial. RW was charged with very serious offences: sexual interference, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching, all committed against his step-daughter who was 12-13 years old at the time. He was convicted of the first two counts but acquitted on the latter. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, followed by probation for 24 months. RW testified and denied the complainant’s allegations. RW’s sole focus was on having been deprived of his preferred mode of trial. RW initially elected to be tried by a court composed of a judge and a jury. At the relevant time, s. 561(1)(b) of the Criminal Code provided that he could re-elect to be tried by a judge of the Superior Court without a jury, as of right, until the fifteenth day after the completion of the preliminary inquiry. After that, the consent of the Crown was required. In this case, the notice of re-election was not filed on time. The missed deadline was the fault of trial counsel. The reason for the Crown’s withdrawal of its consent to RW’s re-election was unknown....
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