Court upholds assault conviction against man whose wife suffered a broken nose
B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen has dismissed an appeal by a Whistler resident convicted of assaulting his wife.
Graham Dacre Underhill was charged on July 29, 2011 with assault causing bodily harm on Diana Underhill following a dispute over a trip to Gambier Island.
He was about to leave with his daughter, according to Cullen's ruling, when his wife grabbed his briefcase.
"What happened thereafter is in some dispute, but it is essentially uncontested that the appellant [Graham Dacre Underhill] chased after the complainant, applied a measure of physical force to her, and the complainant, as a result, suffered from a fractured nose, swelling under her right cheek bone, early bruising on the right side of her neck towards the front and she was 'quite tender' on her chest on the right and left side of her breast bone," Cullen wrote in his decision.
Underhill testified that the two fell to the ground while she was clutching his briefcase and he was holding her from behind.
He also claimed that his wife "was making off with very valuable documents", suggesting that the force was necessary to prevent this.
His wife claimed, on the other hand, that he twice hit her in the face with his elbow, which caused her nose to crack. Underhill denied that this occurred.
Cullen concluded that Underhill's actions did not meet the legal test for the application of reasonable force, as outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada.
"Finally, the learned trial judge found that the appellant was angry, and the evidence did not reveal even an attempt by him to prevent the continuance of the situation by using less violent means," Cullen noted in his decision.