JUDGEMENT EXPECTED WEDNESDAY IN POOL-CUE ASSAULT CASE
KAMLOOPS - Evidence from the accused in a gruesome assault case being heard in Kamloops Provincial court was called 'silly' and 'convenient' during today's final submissions.
"Plain and simple… forgetting what happened does not mean you didn't do it," Crown prosecutor Chris Balison said.
The defence claimed 26-year-old Yousef Almotairi had an 'involuntary reflex' when he jabbed 28-year-old Abdulaziz Alhedaib in the eye with a pool cue at Cactus Jacks Nightclub in November 2012, causing brain damage and paralysis. Both the accused and the complainant were TRU international students from Saudi Arabia at the time of the incident.
Alhedaib said in testimony last week that a confrontation with Almotairi developed at the club that night but they have differing stories about how it started. The two didn't know each other well, they were mere acquaintances, though Almotairi was invited to Alhedaib's birthday that night. Almotairi punched Alhedaib, and in response Alhedaib jabbed him in the eye with a pool cue, dislodging it from the socket.
Defence lawyer Michelle Stanford asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Richard Goepel to consider how fast the situation unfolded and the unexpected punch Alhedaib gave Almotairi. The defence also alleged Alhedaib's testimony was wrong.
"There is no altercation between Mr. Almotairi and the three gentleman," she said. "In my submission, this evidence is clearly inconsistent with video footage."
Almotairi took the stand last week, telling the court he didn't remember the incident. Balison said his testimony did not substantiate the claim of 'involuntary reflex.'
"You can't say you don't remember and say you didn't mean to do it," Balison said. "In my submission, there is nothing reflexive about it."
Balison said Almotairi had plenty of time to consider his actions - from picking up the pool cue to turning and grabbing the cue with both hands.
He said Almotairi jabbed at Alhedaib and even extended further when he couldn't reach him.
"It was an aggressive act, and he meant to do it," Balison said. "He can't tell you any different simply because he says he has no memory."
Justice Goepel said there's no question Almotairi reacted to the punch by Alhedaib.
"The question is, did he intend to apply force," he said.
Judgement in this case is expected on Wednesday morning.
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