R. v. M., 2009 ABPC 390
M entered a plea of guilty to an offence that “he is committing an assault” upon a child “carry, use or threaten to use a weapon, to wit: A Wet Floor sign or imitation thereof, contrary to s. 267 (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.” At the time of the guilty plea, Mr. M was represented by another lawyer. When he appeared before the sentencing judge for sentencing Mr. Royer, his new counsel, asked that Mr. M be allowed to change his plea from “guilty” to “not guilty.”
Nature of Application? Striking a guilty plea.
Mr. Royer submitted that the plea should be changed for the following reasons:
- There was no admission of the facts as read in the Crown.
- Section 606 (1.1) of the Criminal Code was not properly canvassed.
- The facts of the case do not support a conviction.
Mr. Royer argued that the facts did not support the court’s finding of guilt.
The Court said:
When the accused pleaded guilty it is not entirely clear he was admitting that he threw the sign with an intention to apply force to anyone. His foolhardy actions may have caused an injury, but an absence of an intention to injure someone means that he would not be guilty of an assault. His guilty plea was based upon a misapprehension of the effect of his guilty plea since he may have believed his guilt may have rested upon wilful blindness.