11 avril 2008

MARION PETRIE, COFFIN'S MISTRESS, TESTIFIES BEFORE THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH


Centre d'archives de la Gaspésie/Musée de la Gaspésie. P123 Fonds Georges-Étienne Blanchard. Boîte 1.






MARION PETRIE, COFFIN’S MISTRESS, TESTIFIES BEFORE THE COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH

In her testimony before the Court of Queen’s Bench, at Percé in 1954, Marion Petrie, Coffin’s mistress, stated that Coffin arrived at her place in Montréal with a valise in which there were a blue-checkered shirt, a couple of pairs of shorts, a couple of pairs of socks, a pair of blue jeans and a set of towels. The waist of that blue jeans measured 42 inches. It has been proven before the Percé jury that this valise and its contents had belonged to Frederik Claar, one of the victims. Here are a few excerpts from Marion Petrie’s testimony before the Court of Queen’s Bench.

EXCERPT FROM THE TESTIMONY OF MARION PETRIE, COFFIN’S MISTRESS, BEFORE A JURY OF THE COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH ON THE 30TH OF JULY 1954
COURT TRANSCRIPTS FROM PAGE Z-26 TO Z-30

EXAMINED BY MTRE PAUL MIQUELON FOR THE PROSECUTION

Q. Will you look at this valise, which has been filed as P-34, and tell us if the valise that Wilbert Coffin...
THE COURT;
Q. If you have seen this before?
A. Yes, it was like that.
Mr. Paul Miquelon, Q.C. for the prosecution :
Q. Like that? Is it the same?
A. That’s the same.
Q. Do you remember – did you open this valise when Coffin arrived at your place?
A. Not the same day.
Q. Well, the next day, I suppose?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Will you give us what were the contents of this valise?
A. There was a blue-checkered shirt, there was a couple of pairs of shorts, a couple of pairs of socks, a pair of blue jeans.
Q. Talking about a pair of blue jeans, would you look at those, which have been filed as P-34, and tell us if you have seen those before? They have been torn since?
A. I see that.
Q. They were not torn when at the time, I understand?
A. ….What was the question again, please?
Q. I am asking you if you have seen those before: you said Mr. Coffin brought a pair of blue jeans?
A. That’s right.
Q. I am asking you if you have seen those before?
A. They look like a pair of his, but they are not the ones he had in Montréal with him.
Q. When he left for that trip, did he bring those jeans with him, the ones he had brought from Gaspé?
A. Yes sir.
Q. What is it about those that you say – those you saw in Montréal, between those and these?
A. The pair he had in Montréal, I fixed the cuff for him, and they were more new than that.
Q. And those that your are talking about, he brought with him at Val d’Or when he left?
A. When he left my house in Montréal, he took them away with him.
Q. And apart from you have told us about the work you had done on those jeans, apart from that, are they similar to the ones he took to your place from Gaspé?
A. Well, most jeans look alike when they are new.
Q. Were the pockets brown?
A. But these here look like a pair of his old ones.
Q. Where have you seen those before?
A. Down in York Center Gaspé, when I was down there.
Q. Will you look at that pair of jeans filed as P-36 and tell us if those could be Wilbert Coffin’s?
A. No, I don’t think they are his.
Q. Would that be too large for him?
A. No, I don’t think, no, when a man works in the woods, he has to have his clothes large.
Q. Now, apart from the jeans, what did he bring from Gaspé that day?
A. He had a pair of binoculars.
Q Do you know what became of those binoculars?
A. I gave them to captain Matte.
Q. Will you look at those binoculars, which have been filed as P-25 together with the case, and tell us if you have seen those before?
A. They look like the same pair he brought to Montréal with him.
Q. Was there anything else he brought to Montréal?
A. There was an odd-looking knife with a lot of gadgets on it.
Q. What became of those?
A. I also gave them to captain Matte.

Q. Were there any towels?
A. The towels were in the valise.
Q. When he left for his trip?
A. I put one in the valise when he left.
Q. And the towel you gave him when he left Montréal was it one he had brought home on that trip?
A. That was a set of four towels and one face cloth.
Q. What I want to know, Miss Petrie, is this: was that set of four towels in the valise when he arrived at your place?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Will you look at this towel, which has been filed as P-32, and tell us if you have seen this before?
A. Yes sir.

6 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit...

Jeans, sous-vêtements, chaussettes, jumelles, oeufs, sirop d'érable: Coffin a prétendu qu'il était saoul et qu'il avait volé ces objets du camion en panne. Excusez-moi, chers défenseurs de Coffin, mais je n'arrive pas à croire que les gars soient partis chasser des milles plus loin, dans la forêt hostile, sans apporter avec eux ces précieux objets.

Jeans, shorts, soxes, binoculars, eggs, Old Time syrup, etc. : Coffin explained that he was drunk and has stolen those things from the disabled truck. Sorry, folks, but I can't believe that the Americans went hunting miles further, in the hostile Gaspé woods, without taking these precious things with them.

Clément Fortin a dit...

Les faits doivent être examinés en tenant compte du droit criminel en vigueur au Canada. À ce propos, la doctrine de la possession récente d’objets volés trouve son application. Voici une explication donnée par le juge Taschereau de la Cour suprême du Canada dans IN THE MATTER OF A REFERENCE RE REGINA v. COFFIN, S.C.R. 1956, PAGE 203 :
« La doctrine et la jurisprudence enseignent que si une personne est en possession d’objets volés peu de temps après la commission du crime, elle doit expliquer cette possession, et si elle ne réussit pas à le faire de façon satisfaisante, elle est présumée les avoir acquis illégalement. De plus, c’est aussi la doctrine et la jurisprudence que la possession d’effets récemment volés peut indiquer non seulement le crime de vol, mais aussi un crime plus grave relié au vol. (Rex v. Langmead (1) ; Wills pages 61 et 62 ; Regina v. Exall (2). »
Coffin n'a pas fourni d'explications satisfaisantes à cet égard..


Facts must be looked at in view of the criminal law in force in Canada. In this connection, the doctrine of recent possession must be applied. Here is how justice Taschereau of the Supreme Court of Canada explains this doctrine IN THE MATTER OF A REFERENCE RE REGINA v. COFFIN, S.C.R. 1956, PAGE 203 :
(My literal translation)
“The doctrine and the jurisprudence point out that if a person is in possession of stolen objects shortly after the commission of a crime, she or he must explain this possession, and if she or he is not able to do so in a satisfactory manner, she or he is presumed having acquired them illegally. Moreover, it is also the doctrine and the jurisprudence that the possession of stolen effects recently stolen may indicate not only the crime of theft, but also a more serious crime connected to the theft. (Rex v. Langmead (1) ; Wills pages 61 et 62 ; Regina v. Exall (2). »
Coffin never gave satisfatory explanations in this respect.

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