R v NORMAN, 2021 ONCA 321 – Duress defence against drug trafficking charges

Every Accused may advance the defence that they committed the offence alleged under Duress. This means that the offence was committed involuntarily rather than intentionally.
In this case, the Accused was charged with Trafficking and Breach of Probation for smuggling drugs into the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario. At trial, the Accused argued that he was forced into committing the offence because of threats made against him and his brother by “Big Newf”. The Accused was a seasoned inmate while it was his brother’s first time in custody.
The trial judge found that there was an “air of reality to the defence of duress and that the Crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defence did not apply”. The Accused was acquitted of all charges.