Trial of B.C. man accused of assaulting family, pets opens in B.C. Supreme court
Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown.
The trial of a man accused of assaulting his wife and his two sons and attacking two of the family pets over a 14-year period opened in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Monday.
The man, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, pleaded not guilty to 17 criminal counts, including assault, assault causing bodily harm, causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal and criminal harassment.
Crown counsel Joseph Marin told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown that the offences against the accused’s wife, their two sons and two family dogs spanned the period from 2001 to 2015 and first came to light when one of the sons went to the RCMP in September 2015.
The alleged offences occurred in a number of Lower Mainland communities, including Surrey and White Rock, and in Pemberton.
The couple got married in 1999 and remain married, but are separated and seeking a divorce from one another, court heard.
The accused’s wife, the first witness called by the Crown, told the judge that the relationship with her husband was “all right” until he started attending law school and things “changed a lot.”
She said that her husband began getting more and more hostile toward her and her children and recalled an incident in which her husband kicked one of the sons across the room, saying “get off me, you little s--t.”
“He didn’t want anyone in his space at all. He didn’t want anybody near him.”
The witness said that her husband pushed her “hundreds of times” and pushed one of their sons as well. She recalled one incident in which her husband kicked her in the side “as hard as he could.”
“He kicked me like he was kicking a dog to get out of his way.”
Her husband at one point was diagnosed with a medical condition making him intolerant to foods with gluten in them and became paranoid, accusing one of his sons of poisoning him by putting wheat in his food, she said.
The accused kicked that son in the stomach, through a doorway, claiming it was in self-defence, she said.
“What was the son’s age at the time,” said Marin.
“Eight or nine,” she said.
Around that time, her husband started kicking the family’s “very old, sweet” border-collie cross.
“He would just get mad and kick her,” she told the judge.
The dog was kicked “regularly” — on a daily basis, she added.
“He’d kick her and claim that he didn’t kick her,” she said.
On one occasion, her husband hit her in the back of the head until she was close to being unconscious, said the witness. The next morning, she felt so awful that she couldn’t take care of their young daughter and called her mom to come and help her, she said.
Later, she called her husband and said she needed help, but he refused, saying “tough s--t,” she said. She didn’t call for medical assistance because she didn’t want to get him into trouble, she added.
The witness also described an attack in which she said her husband had either kicked or punched her in the liver.
“It was incredibly painful and it knocked me out. It felt like somebody had filleted my liver. It felt like it had split into all kinds of pieces.” Again, she didn’t go to a doctor because she was scared and didn’t want him to get into trouble because it would be bad for her, she said. The trial is expected to continue Tuesday.