Ivan Henry was wrongly imprisoned for nearly 30 years.
The fact that he represented himself during his trial may have had something to do with it.
He was arrested and charged with 10 counts of sexual assault in 1982. Henry opted to tackle the trial himself, without the assistance of a lawyer. He was twice assessed by a psychologist to ensure that he was fit to engage in the trial.
He was eventually acquitted in 2010 based on blood evidence that didn’t match Henry’s blood type, something the Crown failed to properly disclose to Henry during the trial.
He’s now seeking damages for malicious prosecution and abuse of process over allegations that Crown lawyers didn’t disclose all the evidence in his case. Of course, now that a financial payout is involved, Henry has decided to accept the services of a lawyer in order to score a win.
His lawyer, John Hunter, told B.C. Supreme Court that his client didn’t properly understand the process.
A junior prosecutor working on the original case argues that Henry was disrespectful and threatened witnesses with his questions. Judith Milliken claims he even asked a witness how big their penis was!
He would also refer to himself in the first person during cross-examination.
Is it ever wise to defend yourself in a court case? Should you not hire people skilled in the legal profession to defend you?