|Woman remanded in custody over husbands murder attempt after police say she lied about husband's suicide attempt|
Posted on 10 October 2009 by brian kenney
In October 2009, two weeks before the murder of his wife, a distraught Mr Pomerleau decided to kill himself rather than face his charges over a suicide attempt and murder attempt which he had allegedly committed.
At the time of his death, the 55-year-old had been charged with murder and attempted murder of a public servant, each which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
One of the most common ways in which the law allows for manslaughter charges to be introduced against people is in the case of suicide attempts by self-harm, by cutting off a person's oxygen supply or by causing a death in other ways (the other method was in 2005 when Mr Pomerleau, who has no criminal record, was charged after he cut his own hand and slashed himself in the temple).
The first step towards bringing charges under this section is that a defence attorney has to argue that it is important for the defence to show that he or she knew that the accused was planning to commit suicide and that the accused intended to hurt himself or herself. It is not enough for a defence attorney to tell the Court, however, that the accused did not know of his or her intentions to kill himself or himself, or that he or she thought he or she was planning suicide. The defence need only show that it had a clear belief that the accused intended to do so and that the accused was planning to hurt himself or herself.
One defence which will often be employed in the defence of suicide attempts against the accused is that he or she did not see it coming and did not foresee that a crime would be committed and/or that he or she would die as the result. However, the defence does not need to prove that he or she "messed up" by not foreseeing that a victim was likely to die. A defence of false accusation needs not show that an accused is incompetent or was insane at the time of committing the crime or that the accused "messed up" because he or she believed himself or herself to be being persecuted by the authorities for an alleged crime or that the accused intended to harm himself or herself in the course of committing the crime.
As a first step to bring charges under this section of the Criminal Code of Canada, a defence attorney must also convince the Crown that the accused did not realise that the charge would result in the death of his or her victim, was aware of the potential risk that the accused would be convicted and is fully aware of the possibility of the accused's being sentenced to life imprisonment and is aware of the risks of the accused causing the death of a person and will therefor