HALIFAX: A man found guilty of aggravated assault and possessing a weapon had his convictions quashed and will receive a new trial.
In a decision issued last week, Justice Duncan R. Beveridge allowed the appeal of John Arthur Borden and ordered a new trial. On September 3, 2015 Borden received five years for aggravated assault and one year for possession of a weapon, to be served concurrently. Borden appeared in Guysborough Supreme Court, where he was found guilty of the same charges in June. The charges stem from a 2013 incident in Sunnyville.
In his decision, Beveridge stated the “trial judge was wrong to put limits on the right of the appellant to cross-examine the complainant on his prior discreditable conduct, including his numerous prior convictions, and to permit the Crown to introduce as an exhibit a document evidencing the appellant’s criminal record.
“The error was compounded by his jury instructions that they could, as the Crown urged, use the appellant’s prior convictions for violent offences to determine who had been the aggressor in the altercation,” stated Beveridge.
“In these circumstances, the trial judge’s failure to charge the jury about how to deal with prior statements was inadequate.”