SCC Case Information
Her Majesty the Queen v. A.D.H.
(Saskatchewan) (Criminal) (By Leave)
(Publication ban in case) (Publication ban on party)
Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch) for information purposes only.
Criminal law Appeal Charge of unlawfully abandoning a child so that the child’s life was likely to be endangered contrary to s. 218 of the Criminal Code Acquittal entered Appeal dismissed Whether the mens rea for an offence under s. 218 of the Criminal Code is subjective or is to be assessed by applying the modified objective standard If the mens rea is determined on a modified objective basis, whether a mistake of fact must be objectively reasonable, or whether it can be subjectively reasonable.
The respondent, A.D.H., was charged with unlawfully abandoning a child so that the child’s life was likely to be endangered contrary to s. 218 of the Criminal Code. The baby was born in a washroom at a Wal Mart store. A.D.H. did not know she was pregnant. She did not think that the baby was alive when she quickly delivered it in the washroom toilet and then left the store. Management at the store called the emergency response team and the baby was transported to hospital where it was successfully resuscitated. By all reports the child is a normal and healthy child. The trial judge found, based on the expert evidence, that the birth was a precipitous birth, that A.D.H. did not know she was pregnant and that the baby was born at least a month premature. A.D.H. cooperated fully with the police and confirmed that she was the mother of the child. A.D.H. was acquitted and the appeal was dismissed.