R. v. Palmer-Coke, 2019 ONCA 106

Dans cette affaire, le juge de première instance condamne l’accusé de séquestration, retenant que ce dernier a agrippé sa victime par les cheveux, l’empêchant de quitter les lieux et restreignant ainsi sa liberté de façon momentanée. La Cour d’appel de l’Ontario, conclut à l’erreur du juge, notant que l’accusation de séquestration exige que l’accusé retienne sa victime pendant une période significative:

[28]      The appellant submits that the conviction for unlawful confinement was improper in the circumstances of this case. I agree. The trial judge dealt with this issue in one sentence at the end of her reasons. She said:

He prevented her from leaving the room, grabbed her by the hair, pulled her back, striking her head, and made efforts to restrict her liberty.

[29]      The constituent elements of the offence of unlawful confinement are set out in R. v. Pritchard2008 SCC 59 (CanLII)[2008] 3 S.C.R. 195, where Binnie J. said, at para. 24:

The authorities establish that if for any significant period of time [the victim] was coercively restrained or directed contrary to her wishes, so that she could not move about according to her own inclination and desire, there was unlawful confinement within s. 279(2) [citations omitted].

[30]      The distinguishing element of a significant period of time was also addressed in R. v. Rocheleau2013 ONCA 679 (CanLII),311 O.A.C. 295, where Tulloch J.A. noted in discussing this issue at para. 29:

On the facts as admitted in this case, there was domination and a coercive restraint of the victims of sufficient length to attract liability for confinement discrete from the liability for robbery. Nor, in my view, could the additional impact on the individual’s freedom of movement and bodily integrity be seen as simply incidental to the robbery.

[31]      The opposite is true in this case, in my view. Here, the element of restraint that resulted from the appellant grabbing the complainant by her hair was momentary in nature. It was not for “any significant period of time” nor does the trial judge make any such finding. The conviction for unlawful confinement, therefore, cannot stand.



La Cour d’appel de l’Ontario statue également que lorsqu’une séquestration fait partie intégrale d’une agression sexuelle, la règle interdisant les condamnations multiples s’applique et un arrêt conditionnel des procédures doit être prononcé:

[33]      In the same way in this case, the appellant’s grabbing of the complainant’s hair was clearly an integral part of the continuing sexual assault. There would thus be a sufficient factual nexus and a sufficient legal nexus between the offences to trigger the application of the Kienapple principle: R. v. Prince1986 CanLII 40 (SCC)[1986] 2 S.C.R. 480.

[34]      In the end result, I conclude that the trial judge erred in finding the appellant guilty of unlawful confinement in these circumstances. That conclusion does not affect the sentence imposed, however, since the 12 month sentence on the unlawful confinement conviction was made concurrent to the 15 month sentence on the sexual assault causing bodily harm conviction.