In September 2011, Erec Rolfe successfully defended a client (P.D.) against charges of charges of assault, possession of a weapon, uttering threats and breach of probation. P.D. was in his 60s and had a career as an amateur boxer decades ago. P.D. had a long criminal record, including many assaults.
The Crown alleged that after an argument with his roommate, P.D. “judo-chopped” his roommate with his left hand. It was alleged that the roommate fell to the ground and P.D. returned with a machete and threatened his roommate with it.
P.D. was right handed. At the trial, he testified that he only fought in one style: boxing. He advised the court that he only used his left hand for one purpose when fighting – a left hook.
Erec successfully impeached the roommate’s credibility by eliciting numerous inconsistencies in his testimony. Erec then argued to His Honour that if P.D. were to fight his roommate, and use his left hand, he would only use it for a left hook, not a judo chop.
His Honour agreed, accepting that as a former boxer, P.D. took great pride in his boxing skills. After describing the mechanics of a left hook, the judge found that if P.D. were to fight his roommate, his pride would have dictated that he use a left hook, not a judo-chop. His Honour accepted that P.D. would be ashamed to use a judo-chop.
Regarding the weapons charge, Erec successfully argued that the machete in issue had numerous uses, including as an ornamental item. The judge agreed that the Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the machete was a weapon. His Honour acquitted P.D. of all counts.