Domestic Assault, the charge was that client assaulted X, his wife. Wife did not show up at trial, but a witness came and testified that he saw client hit a female. Does the Crown need to prove that the victim was X? Yes! (Unless the charge was that client assaulted “persons unknown”).

Lauzon, [2007] A.J. No. 768 (QB):
Appeal by accused from conviction for assault — Appellant charged with assaulting complainant at remand centre — Complainant did not testify at trial — Officer’s evidence only referred to complainant’s last name — No evidence adduced that at time of offence, there was only one inmate with complainant’s last name – Crown specified complainant’s first name in charge —

HELD: Appeal allowed — New trial ordered — Since Crown particularized name of complainant, Crown must prove identity of that individual — Crown required to prove all of particulars of offence charged — Although evidence indicated that person named was victim of assault, police officer’s evidence was hearsay.


Must the identity of a complainant be proved by the Crown?
12 Whether the Crown must prove the identity of the victim of an assault, or as we sometimes say – the complainant in an assault charge – depends on the circumstances. The Crown could lay a charge of assault on a person unknown; in that situation, the Crown need only prove that the accused committed an assault on a person unknown.
13 However, where, as here, the Crown particularizes the name of a complainant or victim, either in the initial charge or in subsequent particulars, the Crown must prove the identity of that individual. As the Crown itself acknowledges, that obligation arises from the general law which requires the Crown to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, all of the particulars of an offence charged: Saunders.