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Digest of the Week — Conviction for Non-Contact League Hit

R. v. MacIsaac |  (westlaw Canada)
2013 CarswellOnt 18918 |  (Westlaw Canada)
Ontario Court of Justice

Criminal law | Offences | Assault | Aggravated assault | Elements | Intent

Accused was playing hockey in non-contact senior men's hockey league — In last 47 seconds of game, as team opposing accused's led by two goals, complainant, forward on opposing team, sustained severe and lasting injuries following contact which occurred between himself and accused — Accused was charged with aggravated assault — Accused convicted — Crown established that accused intended consequences of his actions and that these actions carried such high risk of injury and objective foreseeability of bodily harm as to negative consent — Accused delivered deliberate blindside hit to complainant when complainant did not have possession of puck — Accused was motivated by frustration that his teammate was tripped at blue line and that referee did not call penalty when time was running out — Accused intended consequences of his actions — Accused's evidence was illogical and inconsistent on key points — Referee, and only neutral witness present, testified that what happened was head shot — From referee's position, free from obstructions, he was able to see whether accused's skates left ice — Act was deliberate head shot with attempt to injure and referee assessed penalty in contemporaneous fashion — Referee's testimony was credible and reliable — Complainant's evidence was credible and reliable and was not embellished — No consent to such conduct could be given — Deliberate blindside hits to head have no place in men's non-contact hockey — Players choose to play in non-contact leagues because they expect to live their lives after game.
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