What is the relevance of the evidence at trial for possession of stolen property?

New Brunswick, Canada

The following excerpt is from R. v Matchett, 2017 NBQB 155 (CanLII):

In my view the real live issue at trial was whether the appellant had knowledge that the licence plate affixed to the vehicle she was observed to have driven on June 20th was stolen property. And, since knowledge (along with some act of control) is a constituent element of possession (R v. Beaver, 1957 CanLII 14 (SCC), [1957] S.C.R. 531), evidence going to the appellant’s knowledge (whether direct or circumstantial) would be relevant. More broadly viewed, the actus reus (the act) and the mens rea (the intent) is required to be proven for every criminal offence. Hence, evidence of the appellant’s knowledge would be relevant to intent. And, it is clear from the record that this is how the learned trial judge viewed the relevance of the evidence as to what occurred on June 16th, four (4) days before the alleged offence date.

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