Criminal lawyers at the Montreal courthouse were expressing mixed opinions recently about the likely outcome of the case of Guercy Edmond, the cab driver who ran over an intoxicated and truculent passenger while or shortly after being attacked by the victim and his two fellow passengers.
Apparently, after the driver was verbally abused and punched, one of the protagonists climbed on the roof of the car and the driver’s car was also vandalized during the incident, part of which was recorded on a video which was posted on You Tube prior to the court hearing.
Mr. Edmond was granted bail on the basis that his action was based on panic after being attacked and was not a premeditated assault but at trial the complex notions of the limits on the use of force in self defence will once again require careful analysis by the court. The essential question will be whether the use of force was justified under the circumstances and whether the amount used was proportionate to the assault which it was used to repel.
The notion of how a reasonable person in the circumstances of the accused would have reacted will likely be the key element in the outcome of the case. At least some comfort can be taken from the fact that no fatality occurred, unlike the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin case which raises similar legal issues.