This week on Weird and Wacky Wednesdays, we move a little closer to home where we examine a strange recurring phenomenon in British Columbia: poop throwing. Then, we look at one of the more creative defences in a sexual assault trial that was recently rejected by an Ontario court. Finally, we kick things back into our neighbours to the south, looking at a Philadelphia prank gone horribly, horribly wrong.
I Hear The Secrets That You Keep...
When you're fucking in your sleep. These are probably not very commonly misheard lyrics, but apparently for one man in Brockville, Ontario, they inspired a legal defence in a sexual assault case. The man argued that his non-consensual sex with a woman was as a result of a sexsomnia condition. He fucks in his sleep.
What is most interesting about this case is that the Ontario Court of Appeal actually granted him a new trial on the basis of this defence. You can read their decision here, which is fascinating from a legal standpoint as it deals with an appeal with a dramatically different defence advanced on appeal than at trial, and permits a new strategy to be advanced. These are rarely, if ever, granted.
The Court rejected the defence on a re-trial, finding that Mr. Hartman suffered from sleepwalking, and that at one point in a sleep study he touched his genitals for four seconds, but rejected any assertion that he went so far as to rape in his sleep. Had his defence been accepted, Mr. Hartman would have been found not guilty by reason of a mental disorder.
So apparently people in British Columbia really love throwing their shit at other people to resolve their problems. Guys, doing this is super weird and makes us almost as bad as Florida. In the latest of the feces-flinging cases, a cyclist who was pissed off at the driver of car, dropped his pants in the middle of the street, took a dump, and then flung it at the driver. Oh, and the whole thing is caught on video.
Look, I know we are all for alternative dispute resolution in legal cases these days but this is a little too alt.
Flinging your feces at another person is a criminal offence. It is considered an assault with a weapon, to wit: shit. Bodily substance cases are generally considered to be more aggravating because of the risk of and exposure to communicable diseases. And the sentences on these types of cases generally tend to be higher than their non-bodily-substance counterpart cases.
So stop, British Columbians, stop! Stop throwing your poop around!
And Since We Love Pranks Gone Awry...
Last week, we talked about the fake name phone call Simpsons gag, and phone pranks. Which got me thinking about cases where pranks have gone horribly awry.
In Philadelphia, a man decided it would be absolutely hilarious to have his friend dress up like a radical terrorist and chase him, holding a knife, into a crowded restaurant. They upped the ante by dressing the would-be victim in a shirt with fake blood stains, making it seem like he had been stabbed in a random terrorist attack. Understandably, nobody found this funny. As a colleague wrote, if this was Texas, he would have been shot.
Had this offence occurred in Canada, the two would likely be facing charges of causing a disturbance, and uttering threats.
Nothing about this was hilarious, and the two men were arrested. Faking a terrorist attack is bad enough, but faking a terrorist attack where you cause people real terror is at best, ill-conceived and at worst, a different form of terrorism altogether. Let's see if they are still laughing at their next court date.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer with a focus on impaired driving, cannabis legalization and related issues, and immediate roadside prohibition defence.