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Regina v. Maki
Ontario Provincial Court
14 D.L.R.3d 164 (1970)
During an exhibition game of the National Hockey League between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues, the Bruins’ Edward Green and the Blues’ Wayne Maki (defendant) encountered each other by the Bruins’ goal area. Green pushed or punched Maki in the face, causing some injury to Maki’s mouth area, and the referee imposed a penalty. Maki may have also speared Green during their skirmish, but evidence was inconclusive. Play continued. Soon after, Green swung his hockey stick at Maki, striking Maki in the neck or shoulders. In response to Green’s making a motion with his stick again, Maki raised his stick high and swung. Maki’s stick hit Green’s stick and then the side of Green’s head in a “chopping” blow. Green was seriously injured. The government (plaintiff) criminally charged Maki with assault causing bodily harm. Green did not support the government’s case against Maki. Maki claimed self-defense and testified to the effect that he swung his hockey stick to protect himself, did not aim for any particular part of Green’s body, and was not angry at Green but merely desperate to get away. Other witnesses, including the referee, confirmed that Maki did not appear angry at Green. The entire charged incident of assault lasted between two and five seconds. Green was known to be a very aggressive, hard-hitting player. Ice hockey in general was played at high speeds and with frequent bodily contact. The court was required to determine whether the criminal charge against Maki could be sustained.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Carter, J.)
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