Droit criminel

Menace de mort jurisprudence

Threatens to cause death or bodily harm


Let’s see some case law

Art. 264.1 C.cr. (1) Uttering Threats _ Everyone commits an offense knowingly

utters, transmits or causes to be received by a person, in any way, a

threatens :

            (a)causing death or bodily harm to any person;

(2)Punishment_A person who commits an offense under paragraph (1)(a) is

guilty :

            (b)an offense punishable on conviction by

summary trial and punishable by imprisonment for eighteen months.

The Crown  must demonstrate:

Actus receipts

The accused must have uttered threats of death or serious bodily harm .

Mens rea:

“The intention to cause the spoken word or the written word to be perceived as threatening to cause death or serious bodily harm, i.e. as intended to intimidate or to be taken seriously. »  R.v. Clemente (1994) 2 SCR 758 by 12

R.v. Clemente (1994) 2 SCR 758

Does not aim for joking words. By. 24

The threat does not need to be followed by action. By. 8

« To decide whether a reasonable person would have viewed the words spoken as a threat, the court must objectively examine them having regard to the circumstances in which they occurred, the manner in which they were spoken and the person to whom they were spoken. destinies. »

R.v. McCraw (1991) 3 SCR 72

“the nature of the threat must be considered objectively; that is, as an ordinary reasonable person would. The terms that would constitute a threat should be considered based on various factors. They should be viewed objectively and in the context of the whole text or conversation in which they occur. Similarly, the situation in which the recipient of the threat finds himself must be taken into account. » by 26

“The question to be decided may be stated as follows. Considered objectively, in the context of all the words written or spoken and having regard to the person to whom they are addressed, do the words in question constitute a threat of serious bodily harm to a reasonable person? » by 27

R.v. Leblanc (1989) 1 SCR 1583

CSC overturns the decision of the CAQ and restores the acquittal pronounced in the first instance  .

Not intending to carry out the threat is not an element.

Evidence of intent to be taken seriously.

R.v. Kafe (1996) 106 CCC (3d) 569 (CAQ)

Threats must be spoken intentionally and seriously.

Words or gestures must objectively be threats (reasonable person)

R.v. MacDonald (2002) 170 CCC (3d) 46 (CA Ont.)

Proof of the feeling of fear or dread of the person targeted by the threat is not necessary but the reaction of the person is relevant in determining whether there was a threat.

Roy v. R., [2006] JQ no 4619

« I’m going to rip your head off my host »

Boss says that to an employee who doesn’t meet the deadline for a job.

The employee challenged the boss for a question. The latter did not want to answer but due to the insistence of the employee he ends up telling him the words for which he is accused.

The boss does not deny uttering the words, but says they were beyond his thinking and he had no intention of intimidating or threatening the employee.

The employee finished his shift despite the words spoken.

The next day, the employee returns to work and at the end of the day he and other employees were laid off. It was following the layoff that the employee filed a complaint.

10 year working relationship.

29 All of these elements, analyzed objectively, should have raised a reasonable doubt as to the element of fear targeted by the criminal sanction and as to the appellant’s intention4.

30 These words « I’m going to tear your head off my host » analyzed in their context do not reach the threshold required by section 264.1 of the Criminal Code.

R.v. Lussier, [2009] JQ no 5120 (CQ)

Weakness of the testimony of a witness on the altercation with the victim and minimization of the facts of the victim concerning the involvement of the spouse, the witness maintains a reasonable doubt that the threats were made. The words « I’m going to kill you » were probably uttered in the heat of the moment. That’s not enough to convict him.

R.v. Fournier (2006) JQ no 7470 (CM)

« you will pay for » or « the crisses will pay for »

to a reasonable person, those words would not be considered threats in the circumstances. The words are not of the nature of the subject matter of the article. The accused was intoxicated, indisposed, under the influence of anger. It’s always a case in point.

R.v. Welcome, [2003] JQ no 6436 (CQ)

The accused told the peace officer when delivering the summons for drunk driving : «  » If I lose my license, it will brew for you ostie  » and adds  » Worse, something will happen to you believe me « . The accused then had closed fists, clenched teeth and a red face. So much so that the policeman felt threatened despite the table separating them. However, he did not keep him incarcerated. According to the accused, he instead said that something would happen if he lost his license and that these words meant that things would not stop there and that he would challenge the work of the police officer. The court does not believe the accused. However, he is of the opinion that the police officer did not take the threats seriously because he, even if he said he felt threatened, did not explain more on the subject. Furthermore, the court does not believe that the words constitute from an objective point of view under the circumstances a threat within the meaning of 264.1. The lyrics could mean more than cause death or injury.Acquitted.


R.v. W. (D.), [1991] 1 SCR 742

– If we believe the statement of the accused, we must pronounce the acquittal.

– If we do not believe the testimony of the accused, but we have a reasonable doubt, we must pronounce the acquittal.

– Even if there is no doubt following the testimony of the accused, one must ask oneself whether, by virtue of the accepted evidence, one is convinced beyond all reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused. accused.


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