Trial on multiple charges including possession of various controlled drugs for the purpose of trafficking. Drugs and paraphernalia found upon execution of a search warrant at accused’s residence. Accused testified to having a very unusual lifestyle, and maintained that the drugs were for personal use.
Held: Acquitted of s. 5(2) CDSA, convicted of simple possession.
In assessing credibility, “no longer are judges encouraged to consider demeanour evidence to be a determining or even central tool”: Storey, 2010 NBQB 86. The proper approach is to consider the evidence of any particular witness against the backdrop of the rest of the evidence led, and utilize reason and common sense, in deciding what worth should be attributed to it. A trial judge must have “intellectually valid” reasons to reject an accused’s plausible and unshaken account. “Mr. Paige’s circumstances are indeed unusual, but the uncontested evidence serves as a reminder that not all lives are usual.”
A. Hart-Dowhun – Defence Counsel