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Digest of the Week | Aiding and Abetting

Accused who attended fight with members of Hells Angels found guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter

R. v. McRae
2016 CarswellBC 89
British Columbia Court of Appeal

Criminal law --- General principles — Parties — Aiders and abettors

Deceased was beaten to death by two members of Hells Angels, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter — Four other men were tried and three were convicted as parties to offence of manslaughter — Two accused appealed convictions — Appeal dismissed — Argument by accused that they attended fist fight and had no idea that other accused would attack deceased in manner they did did not assist them — There was ample evidence that accused formed common intention with other accused to fight deceased — Accused armed themselves in advance, attended with several others to fight scene and got out of their vehicles and started to run towards deceased — There was ample evidence to support inferences and findings of fact that accused did acts that aided or abetted, knew other accused were going to commit assault and had objectively foreseeable risk of bodily harm — Trial judge gave lengthy, comprehensive reasons for judgment and accused did not identify any flaw in his evaluation of evidence or in analysis that pointed to unreasonable conclusion — Fatal use of weapons by other accused were not intervening acts that severed legal causation between accused and death of deceased — Fatal use of weapons was reasonably expected where accused attended group fight where he knew weapons and Hells Angels members would be present.
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