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DUMB DECISION BY CANADIAN JUDGE Richard La Dieu Rich LaDieu rladieu@dgs.dgsys.com it's a good thing i don't live in canada where this judge is cuz i would make sure he gets disbarred for stupidity....

Mugging victim 'stupid,' judge says

Man flashed $12 in the inner city; remarks from bench shock official


Thu, Jul 20, 2000

By Mike McIntyre

A Winnipeg judge dealt a mugging victim a knockout punch this week by acquitting his alleged attacker and then berating the man for openly carrying
money while walking through the inner city.

Charles Rubin also took aim at the West Broadway area where the man was robbed of $12 last winter -- a move which has offended community groups
working to repair the neighbourhood's tattered image.

"I am not satisfied there is evidence of a robbery here. Maybe a breach of the public peace at best. But what I am satisfied is that we have a very stupid
civilian, who admits that he was stupid," said Rubin, who interrupted the Crown's closing submission Tuesday to deliver his verdict.

"If you walk around jingling money in your hand . . . it's like walking in the wolf enclosure at the city zoo with a pound of ground beef in your hand. And
it's almost the same type of predators you're going to find out there."

Rubin said the area is "one of the most notorious" in the city and is a constant hangout for drug dealers.

"I wouldn't walk down that lane in the middle of the day, let alone in the middle of the night. Anybody who lives in that area walks away from any
buildings or tree lines, just to be safe," he told the victim.

"You would be wise to practise that yourself. Walk on the street. And walk in the middle of the street, not the sidewalk."

The victim, Clarence Dale, said yesterday he was "insulted" by the judge's comments.

"It was like I was to blame for being robbed. Basically, what he said is that the predators have the right to be predators, and us lambs ought to know
better," he said.

"It says criminals have more rights than an honest man who doesn't do drugs or drink. And to be called stupid, well, I wasn't very happy."

During testimony on Tuesday, Dale, 46, said he was confronted last February by two men shortly after leaving the Sherbrook Inn with the change from a
tobacco purchase still in his hands.

He told court he was "an idiot" for keeping two $5 bills and two loonies in his hand as he returned to his nearby apartment block about 10 p.m., but
didn't have time to put the money away before he was approached.

He said the two men blocked his path and asked him if he wanted to buy marijuana. One stood in the shadows, wearing a hood over his head with one
hand in his pocket, while the other, who was on trial this week, stood directly in front of him with his face clearly exposed.

When Dale refused to buy drugs, he said the hooded man simply grabbed his money before both men walked away.

Although he wasn't injured or threatened with a weapon, Dale said he was intimidated and feared for his safety. He wondered whether the hooded man,
whom he couldn't identify, had a weapon in his pocket.

He returned to the Sherbrook Inn and got a bouncer to help him search for the men. When they spotted them in a nearby laundromat, police were
called and the pair were arrested. However, only the man that Dale could identify went to trial.

In acquitting the man of robbery, Rubin noted there was no evidence he was the one who actually grabbed the cash or that Dale was prevented in any
way from walking away.

The Crown is considering whether to appeal the verdict.

"The poor guy comes to court to testify, and for his troubles and civic duty, gets a lecture from the judge. I can't believe it," said a justice official who
requested anonymity.

cheers
rich



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