On January 13, 2018, Matthew Brown got high on magic mushrooms, stripped naked, then broke into the home of Professor Janet Hamnett. He beat her with a broom handle so badly he was covered in her blood when he ran from Hamnett’s home.
In a decision I can only describe is repulsive, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins refused to hold Matthew Brown responsible for his actions.
In any normal world, Mathew Brown would be convicted for his heinous actions regardless of whether he was drunk, high or sober.
In this Trudeau-appointed judge’s eyes, violence against women is okay so long as you’re really, really high. We’re left hoping she believes it’s not okay to beat women when the abuser is sober, but we must wait for some future court decision from Justice Michele Hollins to know for certain.
Defence lawyer Sean Fagan had the audacity to claim his client’s integrity and non-violent character made him “a pleasure to defend.”
Integrity? Non-violent character?
“[Matthew Brown] consumed about four grams of magic mushrooms at a friend’s house party that night, before he stripped naked and ran outside in frigid temperatures.
“He smashed his way into the home of Janet Hamnett, an MRU professor whom he had never met, and beat her with a broken broom handle, causing severe injuries to her hands and arms.”
After leaving his battered and bleeding victim on the floor, Brown left, tried to break into a few cars and finally broke into a second home where police finally arrested him.
According to Sean Fagan, this series of events is a clear demonstration of Matthew Brown’s integrity and non-violent character.
Matthew Brown is responsible for his actions that night, from the time he decided to get high until he was arrested sitting on the bathroom floor of the second home he broke into.
That our courts rule otherwise is repulsive but, and I can’t even believe I’m saying this, not unexpected.
It Gets Worse
In any normal world, Mathew Brown would be held responsible for his actions whether he was drunk, high or sober.
We don’t live in a normal world. We live in a world governed by the lunacy of the 2018 Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling R. v. McKaw and before it, the 1994 Supreme Court of Canada decision R. v. Daviault.
These decisions hold a person is not criminally responsible for their actions when they choose to become extremely intoxicated.
From a case law summary of R. v. McCaw:
In R. v. Daviault,  3 S.C.R. 63, the Supreme Court held that extreme intoxication tantamount to a state of automatism can negative the intent required for general intent offences…
…claiming otherwise infringed liberty and the principles of fundamental justice (s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms), as well as the presumption of innocence (guaranteed under s. 11(d) of the Charter).
All that boils down to mean if you get really, really intoxicated you can do whatever stupid thing comes into your head and no court in the land will hold you accountable.
Does your head hurt yet? If so, you’re not alone.