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R v Docherty, [1989] 2 SCR 941


D found sitting in car drunk. Plead guilty to s.253 even though said he did nothing wrong. Was on parole and had to keep the peace and be of good behaviour (s.666).

s.666 – an accused who is bound by a probation order and who willfully fails or refuses to comply with that order is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


Can we substitute proof of the MR for the underlying offence for proof of the MR for breach of the probation order?


Where knowledge of the law itself is a component of the requisite MR (an element of the offence), the absence of knowledge provides a good defence – so ignorance of the law can be a defence


**AR: Not complying with the probation order – violated by – offence in s.236 (this involves 2 elements – proof of AR and MR for this offence)
**MR: Intent not to comply with probation order.

It is on the Crown to prove MR.
**The Crown may ask the court to infer intent from the fact of the conduct
**However, any doubt as to whether the accused intended to do what he did must be resolved in favour of the accused


The accused does have the required MR for the offence


Parliament amended s.666(1) to s.733(1) and changed it be w/o reasonable excuse
**They took out the words willfully

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