Appellant convicted at trial of sexual assault in relation to step-daughter. Evidence that mother of complainant had motive to fabricate due to custody battle and ability to influence complainant’s evidence but Trial Judge finding that he was satisfied that the complainant’s evidence alone established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Held: Conviction overturned on appeal.
Original trial counsel failed to provide a meaningful factual basis for the defence theory and even conceded that there was no motive to fabricate. Both these errors were to the prejudice of the client’s right to a fair trial and the conviction was unsafe. Sent ordered new trial. Crown stayed prosecution prior to second trial.