Youth charged with assault. Accused, who had mental health and behaviour issues, spat in the face of a youth care worker. Defence argued that accused’s actions were de minimus.

Held: Convicted.

Several Alberta cases (Smale, 2016 ABPC 39; Tan, 2010 ABPC 163 et. al.) “make it clear that this defence exists in Alberta, even though the Supreme Court of Canada has not yet ruled definitively whether or not the defence exists in Canada.” However, spitting cannot be considered de minimus. As per Maier, 2015 ABCA 59: “spitting (particularly into the face of a complainant) is a demeaning and degrading form of assault and one that is taken seriously by the courts of this province”.

K. Reyes – Defence Counsel