Case # 35866
Her Majesty the Queen v. Paul Francis Tatton (December 9, 2014)
The respondent was acquitted of arson after he left his girlfriend’s house with the stove on. At trial the respondent the raised the defence of accident and tendered evidence of his intoxication at the time. The trial judge considered the evidence of intoxication and found that in this case, arson was a specific intent offence. Ultimately, the trial judge was not satisfied that the respondent left the stove on high either intentionally or recklessly. The majority at the court of appeal dismissed the argument that self-intoxication is a general intent offence. This rendered self-intoxication inadmissible as a defence. At issue is whether self-intoxication can be a defence in arson where it is deemed a specific intent offence.