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INFERENCES

Lord Wright emphasized in Caswell v. Powell Duffy Associated Collieries Ltd., [1940] A.C. Where at p. 169


…that inference must be carefully distinguished from conjecture or speculation and there can be no inferences unless there are objective facts from which to infer other facts which it is sought to establish.

In R. v. Lukianchuk, [2001] B.C.J. No. 3000, 2001 B.C.S.C 119, Romilly J. had this to say at page 7 paragraph 19:


In R. v. To, supra the accused was arrested after placing a plastic bag in a vehicle.  The bag contained several videotapes and 4.4 lbs of heroin.  The trial judge disbelieved the accused’s evidence that he did not know what was in the bag.  McEachern C.J.B.C. stated at page 230:


It must be remembered that we are not expected to treat real life cases as a completely intellectual exercise where no conclusion can be reached if there is the slightest competing possibility.  The criminal law requires a very high degree of proof especially for inferences consistent with guilt, but it does not demand certainty.  I do not think it can properly be said that the inferences of knowledge in this case would be unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence.

Jim O'Neil, LL.B.

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