Derrick Michael Lawlor v. His Majesty the King (40500)

Posted on: 2024-03-04


The appellant engaged in a sexual encounter with two other men in a park. A number of hours later, the body of one of those men was found in the park; he had died due to external neck compression. The appellant had mental health difficulties and had consumed both psychiatric medication and alcohol around the time he was in the park with the victim and the third man. The appellant had made several statements both before and after the victim’s death that he wanted to harm and kill gay men, and that he had at times carried a rope and a knife to do so. In the days following the killing, the appellant searched the internet for news with respect to the discovery of a body in the park.

A jury found the appellant guilty of first-degree murder. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and held that the trial judge’s instructions to the jury had been appropriate. In dissent, Nordheimer J.A. would have allowed the appeal on two grounds: (1) that the trial judge failed to instruct the jury on the appellant’s mental health as it relates to the intent required for murder and (2) that the trial judge failed to provide a limiting instruction on the use of after-the-fact conduct evidence. Nordheimer J.A. would have ordered a new trial.

Argued Date



Criminal law — Charge to jury — Non-direction amounting to misdirection — Need to review mental health evidence with jury — Need to include limiting instruction for after-the-fact conduct evidence — Whether Court of Appeal erred by holding that trial judge did not err in not relating mental health evidence to intent required for murder — Whether the Court of Appeal erred by holding that the trial judge did not err in not providing a limiting instruction for after-the-fact conduct evidence


(Ontario) (Criminal) (As of Right)


English Audio


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