New & Notable: No good deed goes unpunished

Robert Ellis attacked his parents with a club and sword.  He pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with a weapon.  He was found not criminally responsible (“NCR”) pursuant to s. 16 of the Criminal Code.  He appealed, arguing that his counsel was incompetent and that the NCR finding was unreasonable.  The Ontario Court of Appeal resoundingly and unanimously dismissed the appeal: 2012 ONCA 906


The Crown sought and was granted an assessment of Ellis’ mental condition.  The first psychiatrist said that he was fit to stand trial and was likely criminally responsible. 

The Crown sought and was granted a second assessment.  The second psychiatrist said that Ellis had an NCR defence available to him based on his mental state at the time of the offence. 

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