March 11, 2016 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld a Kamloops Supreme Court's sexual assault conviction of a Lytton community worker.
Last June, a Kamloops Supreme Court Justice sentenced Michael Hume to a three-year prison term after a jury convicted him of sexually assaulting a young man in the community.
Hume was a band liaison for youth initiatives and the criminal justice system in the Lytton First Nation Community. After a chance encounter with the young man, he offered him a ride and took him to his house where he gave him a mixed drink.
Justice Sheri Donegan said the man has no memories of what occurred after he finished the drink. When he woke up on his back, the man found Hume kneeling before him, raising his leg and shaving the hair underneath his testicles.
During court proceedings the victim testified Hume told him his girlfriend would like it and threatened to hit him with a bottle if he tried to leave.
Hume denied the offence ever took place.
In his appeal, Hume’s lawyer argued the trial judge did not properly instruct the jury on weighing the victim’s testimony and his "propensity for irrational behaviour" along with his criminal record. He also argued the judge did not tell the jury about the limited value of circumstantial evidence versus expert evidence when it came to examining hair found in Hume’s vacuum cleaner.
The court of appeal disagreed.
“(The victim) testified Mr. Hume vacuumed up the hair shaved from (his) body. That a quantity of hair was found in a vacuum cleaner at Mr. Hume’s residence shortly after the alleged events was a piece of circumstantial evidence that the jury was entitled to consider,” the decision states. “In my view the jury was well-able to understand that evidence and deal with it appropriately, based on its own experience and common sense."
To read the appeal court's decision, click here.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016