What is the test for having a safe avenue of escape in a sexual assault case?

New Brunswick, Canada


The following excerpt is from R v Morningstar, 2016 NBQB 212 (CanLII):

I find that a properly instructed jury could not come to any other conclusion than that a reasonable person similarly situated and with the same personal characteristics and experiences as the accused had a safe avenue of escape. Put differently, there is an “absence of any realistic basis upon which a jury could have a doubt as to whether [the accused] had a safe avenue of escape” (See: R v. Sheridan, infra at para. 10). In my view, there is no air of reality to the no safe avenue of escape element and the defence of duress fails on that ground as well.

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