Some is all you need

Webster was accused of committing offences against is former domestic partner. At the preliminary inquiry the now ex-partner testified via closed circuit television in a sequestration suite designed to allow witnesses to testify outside of the presence of accused.

She testified that she knew Webster, had been engaged to him and that they resided at the address specified in the information before the court.

The complainant was not asked to identify Webster nor from the sequestration suite would she have been able to do so.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing the defence argued that the accused should be discharged as the crown had failed to adduce some evidence that the accused before the court was the person who committed the offences.

The preliminary hearing judge discharged the accused. The Crown successfully sought the extraordinary remedies of certiorari and mandamus. Webster appealed to the Court of Appeal seeking to have the discharge reinstated. That appeal was dismissed: 2016 ONCA 189.

In a brief endorsement the Court reminded us that:

It is well settled that the identity of names a complainant identifies as her assailant and the person charged constitutes some evidence of identity. It is all the more so, when the name is accompanied by an address and other biographical details: R. v. Chandra (1975), 29 C.C.C. (2d) 570 (B.C.C.A.), at p. 573; and R. v. B.(D.), [2007] O.J. No. 1893 (C.A.), at para. 1.

The Court agreed with the certiorari judge that preliminary inquiry judge committed a jurisdictional error by failing to consider the whole of the evidence and in particular the identity of names as some evidence of identity.  [at para 6]