Crown application under s. 714.1 CC for the complainant in sexual assault trial to testify by video link from Ontario. Complainant suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and previous trial date had been adjourned due to her mental breakdown and inability to testify.
Held: Application granted.
SDL, 2017 NSCA 58 set out several principles to guide judicial discretion in a s. 714.1 CC application, including that such authorization should only be granted in “exceptional circumstances that personally impact” the witness when credibility, especially of a complainant, is at issue. Such exceptional circumstances were established here. “I am satisfied that there is a significant likelihood that the complainant’s personal appearance at this trial would cause her to suffer, at the least, psychological deterioration…. As significant as the complainant’s evidence is to the case against this accused, and as crucial as it is to preserve his right to a fair trial… and [to] vigorously test the evidence led against him, I also consider other broader social concerns to be relevant”.
A. Corbett – Defence Counsel