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Facts Verse Presents[]

Lewis made a bomb out of a kettle with the co-accused (Tatlay) and mailed it to Tatlay's daughter. She died when she opened it. Lewis claims that he did not know what was in the package even though he mailed the package and the Crown contends that he made the bomb. He was convicted at trial and his appeal was dismissed.


  1. What role does motive play in obtaining a conviction?


Appeal dismissed.


Lewis appeals on the basis that the trial judge erred in law because he did not include motive as a necessary element of the offence in his charge for the jury. Lewis claims that he had no motive to commit the crime and therefore cannot be convicted. Dickson, writing for the court, states that there is a difference between motive and intent; motive is considered "ulterior intent". They provide six statements about motive:

  1. evidence of motive is always admissible, because it is always relevant as it helps you logically draw an inference from motive to intention to cause death;
  2. motive is not needed to prove in order to obtain a conviction;
  3. proved absence of motive is always an important fact in favor of the accused and is ordinarily worthy of note in a charge to the jury;
  4. proved presence of motive may be an important factor in the Crown's case;
  5. motive is always a question of fact and it must be explained to the jury how motive works in the conviction process;
  6. the issue is always a matter of degree depending on the circumstances in the case.

In the case at bar, he finds no error in the omission of a jury instruction regarding motive and therefore dismisses the appeal.


  • Motive is not the same thing as intent; it is an "ulterior intention".
  • Motive does not need to be proven by the Crown in order to get a conviction, but it is generally helpful (however, there are some charges that do include motive in their description (such as breaking and entering – s. 348) – in these cases, the Crown must prove motive beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction).