Trial on charges including assault with a weapon. Credibility contest. Regarding W(D) test, defence argued that if the accused’s evidence is “capable of belief”, then the Court should accept the accused’s testimony under the first formula instruction and acquit.

Held: Acquitted.

Doubt raised by accused’s evidence. The “proposed test … of whether or not the Court is left with a reasonable doubt by the accused’s explanation, based on whether it is capable of belief, is inconsistent with” the language used in W(D). Assessing credibility and reliability is a difficult task that does not lend itself to rigid tests. As per White (1947) 89 CCC 148 (SCC), the analysis involves not only “the desire to be truthful but also the opportunities of knowledge and powers of observation, judgment and memory.” Where the Crown’s case is wholly dependent upon the evidence of the complainant, that evidence must be tested in the light of all of the other evidence presented at trial.

S. Fix – Defence Counsel