This was an appeal by the appellant, Allen, who was convicted of wilfully killing cattle contrary to section 400(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada and sentenced to a term of two years in penitentiary.
The appeal was based on the following grounds: (1) Statements made by the appellant were admitted without a “voir dire” being held when requested by counsel for the accused. (2) There was no evidence (a) that a “heifer” was within the meaning of “cattle” as defined by section 2 of the Code. (b) That the accused committed the offence or “wilfully” committed the offence. (c) That the appellant was a party to the offence pursuant to the provisions of section 21 of the Code. (3) The sentence was unreasonable and excessive
The Court found that the trial judge, in refusing to admit the written statement, erred in his reasoning.
Following, there was no merit in the objection that a “heifer” is not included in the word “cattle” as used in the charging section of the Code. “Cattle” is defined in section 2 of the Code as “neat cattle or an animal of the bovine species by whatever technical or familiar name it is known”. The dictionary meaning of “heifer” is a “young cow that has not had calf”. “Cow” is defined as the female of any bovine animal; a heifer is therefore a familiar name of a bovine species.
The appeal against the conviction was dismissed. However, the appeal against the sentence was allowed and the sentence is reduced to six months imprisonment.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: New Brunswick