Ontario’s Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction of an Oshawa man for killing his roommate’s small dog, rejecting an assertion that a judge committed fundamental errors during a trial in 2019.
In the recent appeal, Kyle Weber argued that Ontario Court judge Marquis Felix improperly assessed evidence about Weber’s level of intoxication at the time of the incident. Although there was evidence Weber was drunk on the day of the attack, the trial judge concluded the accused man had deliberately and knowingly inflicted multiple serious injuries to the dog.
During the trial, the dog’s owner, Ian Chesterton, described leaving his townhouse to take his roommate to work on the night of June 28, 2018, then returning about a half-hour later to find the 11-year-old dachshund, named Timmy , lying grievously injured in a pool of blood.
The dog was rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic, but was given no chance to survive.
Weber did not testify or call evidence in reply to the Crown’s case.
Felix convicted Weber of injuring or ending an animal. Weber was sentenced to nine months in jail.
“There is not even one drop of remorse associated with his conduct,” Felix said at the time of sentencing in October of 2019. “He displays no apparent empathy or sympathy for the complainants in this case.”
The conviction appeal stated that the judge failed to consider the possibility Weber was too drunk to form criminal intent to harm Timmy. Felix Weber concluded “intentionally inflicted significant injury” to the dog, and that no reasonable doubt about that finding had been raised by evidence of Weber’s impairment.
In a ruling released in mid-December the court rejected Weber’s argument, concluding his claim of intoxication wasn’t a viable defence.
The finding was based in part on the ferocity of the attack on the dog, the ruling states.
“Intoxication short of automatism is not a defense and should not be considered,” the decision, signed by Justice CF de Sa, says. “Even if I am incorrect in this regard, the distinction makes little difference in this case because the force used on the small dog was so extreme that the inference that the accused foresaw the likelihood of harm was overwhelming, even in the face of the intoxication evidence.”
“The trial judge’s reasons demonstrate he considered the evidence of intoxication before him and was still satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant intentionally harmed the dog,” the court found.