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Regina v. Green
Ontario Provincial Court
16 D.L.R.3d 137 (1970)
During an exhibition game of the National Hockey League (NHL) between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues, the Bruins’ defenseman Edward Green (defendant) and the Blues’ Wayne Maki encountered each other by the Bruins’ goal area. Maki grabbed the back of Green’s sweater. A fracas, lasting no more than 10 seconds, ensued between the men, who were at the “peak” of their form and able to move very quickly. Although evidence was disputed, Maki was observed to have “speared” Green in Green’s genital region using the blade of Maki’s hockey stick. “Spearing” was a dangerous type of attack, normally resulting in immediate retribution by the attacked hockey player. At the time of the spearing or just after, Green struck or pushed Maki in the face with Green’s glove (“a sort of half chop”). The referee imposed a delayed penalty. Play continued. Soon after, the men went at each other with their hockey sticks, and Green was seriously injured. The government (plaintiff) criminally charged Green with assault. Maki testified that being struck “in the face” as he had been by Green’s glove had happened to him “hundreds of times” in the course of playing ice hockey. The court was required to determine Green’s guilt or innocence for assault.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Fitzpatrick, J.)
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