Toronto Road Rage Assault Lawyer

Assault & Threat —Toronto Criminal Defence

Client:  M.W., Accused
Complainant:  another driver
Charges:  assault & threaten death

The Queen v. M.W.
Ontario Court of Justice, Toronto
Judge O'Donnell
(peace bond: 11 February 2017)

Crown:  J. Rodopoulos, Office of the Crown Attorney, Toronto 
Defence:  Craig Penney, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Toronto

¶ 1  CROWN:  Your Honour, this is the matter of Mr. M.W., there is now a Section 810 before the Court.

¶ 2  THE COURT:  Good morning, Mr. W.

¶ 3  CLIENT:  Good morning.

¶ 4  THE COURT:  And is the 810 sworn in time?

¶ 5  CROWN:  It should be.

¶ 6  CLERK:  Yes, Your Honour, it was sworn on the 11th, the charge is on October 13th.

¶ 7  THE COURT:  Okay. Mr. W., I understand that it is your intention to enter into a peace bond this morning, is that correct, sir?

¶ 8  CLIENT:  Yes.

¶ 9  THE COURT:  And I'm sure Mr. Penney has discussed this with you, I'm just need to make absolutely sure that you understand, um, the process and the consequences of the process that you're about to undergo. In a couple of minutes I'm going to ask Ms Rodopoulos, the Crown Attorney, to read the allegations to me. It's important that you understand that you're not admitting that you're guilty of any criminal offence. You're not going to be found guilty or convicted of a criminal offence.

¶ 10  You might want to know why I'm listening to allegations or facts that nobody is admitting, it does on one level seem kind of absurd, but the reason I'm listening to them is I have to have some context for making the peace bond order. I just can't just come into work one day and say I feel like making an order, I have to have some reason for doing it. That's the easy part.

¶ 11  The important part is this, the second thing I'm going to ask Ms Rodopoulos is the terms of the peace bond. It's important that you understand that a peace bond is a court order and that there are consequences criminal consequences, for any breach of that court order. About one in five the cases that come in this building, Mr. W., are people who are charged with breaches of court orders. So that suggests that those people who think it's not a big deal, are probably mistaken.

¶ 12  The reality is that it is a criminal offence to violate a peace bond and that ironically often when people are found guilty of breaching the peace bond, the penalty for the breach is more serious than if they had been found guilty of the original charge that brought them to court. Okay? So a lot of people think it's not a big deal. A lot of people think they won't get caught.

¶ 13  They usually don't get caught the first or second time they breach a court order, but, um, they do eventually and, um, a lot of people think there are no consequences.

[Submissions are made. Exhibits are filed as evidence.]

¶ 14  Since your objective I assume in signing the peace bond, with Mr. Penney's counsel and advice, so I assume your objective is to take whatever did happen in the past, leave it in the past, move on with your life and never ever be in a building like this again.

¶ 15  It would be a very, very good idea, Mr. W., to read that peace bond over, pay very, very close attention to it. And govern your life by it for its duration and thus make that ambition true. Okay, sir?

¶ 16  If you want to have a seat, I'll hear from Ms Rodopoulos about the allegations. I take it, Mr. Penney, that Mr. W. does not require the Crown to formally to show cause? He's consenting to the order?

¶ 17  MR PENNEY:  No, we're, we're.... not requiring the Crown to show cause. The only thing I would add to Your Honour's comments, I agree with everything Your Honour said, of course, is that if Your Honour does determine to order the 810, there are two findings that aren't ... that Mr. W. understands, one is that the complainant had a fear for his safety, and the other is that there was a reasonable basis for that fear. Those findings are always implicit in any order under Section 810 and he is aware of, of that.

¶ 18  THE COURT:  Okay. Thank you.

¶ 19  MR PENNEY:  Thank you, Your Honour.

¶ 20  CROWN:  On October 3rd, 2013, at approximately 9:20 in the morning, the complainant was travelling in lane two of westbound Sheppard Avenue approaching the interaction of Doris Avenue in Toronto. The complainant realized that he had to travel northbound on Doris Avenue and needed to change lanes from lane two to the right hand turn lane to go northbound on Doris Avenue. The complainant noticed that there was a space in front of the accused's vehicle and merged in front of that vehicle. This upset Mr. W. and he began to honk his horn numerous times.

¶ 21  The complainant observed Mr. W. made hand gestures in the shape of a gun at him. He then yelled out, "I'm going to kill you." The complainant's window was down at the time and heard Mr. W. say this clearly. When the complainant and accused traveled north on Doris Avenue, the traffic had stopped and so, so did the two of them. The complainant observed Mr. W. exit his vehicle, went up to the complainant as he too was exiting his car and Mr. W. grabbed the complainant around the neck with both hands. They struggled.

¶ 22  Mr. W. then returned to his vehicle and the complainant followed him to an underground parking lot and then contacted the police.

¶ 23  THE COURT:  And the proposed terms?

¶ 24  CROWN:  Twelve months, $500, no deposit, no surety. No contact with [the complainant]. No weapons as defined by the Criminal Code.

¶ 25  THE COURT:  Would you stand up, please, sir? Do you understand those terms, Mr. W.?

¶ 26  CLIENT:  Yes.

¶ 27  THE COURT:  And are you confident that you can abide by those terms?

¶ 28  CLIENT:  Yes.

¶ 29  THE COURT:  And you understand the consequences of not abiding by those terms as I've discussed them with you?

¶ 30  CLIENT:  Absolutely.

¶ 31  THE COURT:  Looking back, I'm not asking for any specific, is there a possibility that things might have been handled differently?

¶ 32  CLIENT:  Well I would say...

¶ 33  THE COURT:  I'm not asking you to say anything. It's just a rhetorical question.

¶ 34  CLIENT:  Yes. Yes, I know. Okay. Sorry.

¶ 35  THE COURT:  I'm satisfied there's a basis for the peace bond to issue. So once I hand this down to you, I'm going to ask you to read it over, please. Mr. W., read it with Mr. Penney. Satisfy yourself that it says what Ms Rodopoulos says which I adopt. If you're satisfied that it says that, then please sign it and press hard because there are three copies to sign. Okay. .

¶ 36  MR PENNEY:  Your Honour, just for the record, I may — because I may have to order a transcript for requesting the destructions of the prints and photographs, if you can just read that over, Mr. W., I just want to clarify that there is no issue that Mr. W. was engaged in a verbal and physical altercation that he could have easily avoided, could have bettered handled. And the background to today is that he has completed the road rage program with the salvation army on his own initiative as well as he's done 10 sessions and individual counselling with, with the counsellor and all that information has been supplied to the Crown in advance and that is why the Crown exercised its discretion in the manner it did. Thank you

¶ 37  THE COURT:  Thank you, Mr. Penney.

¶ 38  MR PENNEY:  Thank you.

¶ 39  CROWN:  The peace bond has been signed. If the Criminal Code charges could be marked withdrawn please.

¶ 40  THE COURT:  So the Criminal Code charge against you has been withdrawn, Mr. W., that means a couple of things, one you are free to go. Two, any form of release that you had on this charge, the terms of that release, apply only to this charge are now no longer of any effect and good luck.

¶ 41  MR PENNEY:  Thank you. Your Honor.

¶ 42  THE COURT:  Thank you, Mr. Penney.

¶ 43  MR PENNEY:  Thank you.