Appeal dismissed for man who killed volunteer
Victim Michael Gregory, seen in a 2007 photo. Gregory was killed outside the Kettle Friendship Society in 2013. (Photo submitted)
A Vancouver man who killed a well-loved mental health services volunteer with two punches in 2013 has lost his appeal to reduce his time in prison.
Matthew John Anthony-Cook was sentenced for a count of manslaughter last year to just under two years’ imprisonment, after the death of Kettle Friendship Society volunteer Michael Gregory.
According to the court, Anthony-Cook, who suffers from a long-standing mental health disorder and drug addiction, was at the centre on Feb. 9 — he used the centre from time to time — and was found by staff swearing and punching near a computer and asked to leave.
But when he got outside, he got into a verbal exchange with Gregory — who pursued Anthony-Cook as the latter walked away.
“Mr. Gregory grabbed the appellant by the shoulders and a pushing match ensued,” Justice Garson wrote.
Then, several times, Anthony-Cook took “haymakers” at Gregory — but missed. This caused Gregory to start backing away, with “his hands up to protect himself,” but Gregory was still caught by two punches.
The first hit stunned Gregory, the second knocked him out, sending him to the ground.
“He fell backwards and died of a skull fracture when his head hit the pavement.”
At trial, both Crown and defence had proposed 18 months of jail. This had been rejected by the judge, who imposed two years — and that decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal.