May 01, 2013 - 5:50 PM
VERNON MAN GRABBED A BAT, DRESSED AS SUPERMAN TO CONFRONT 'SATAN-WORSHIPPER'
A Vernon judge expressed empathy for a man with a traumatic history who committed a "bizarre" offense on Halloween of 2011, the same night Taylor Van Diest was killed.
Daniel Donald Hobbs of Vernon was charged with assaulting a man with a bat, and causing him bodily harm.
"The facts are relatively bizarre," provincial court judge Mayland McKimm said.
Before going out, Hobbs suited himself up in protective clothing, mimicking the hero Superman costume and carried a bat. McKimm said witnesses saw him confront his victim on the street. He confronted a man and accused him of being a Satan-worshipper. Hobbs struck him over the head with the bat, but that wasn't the end of it.
"(The victim) was a highly-trained fighter, most likely a member of the military or a security group who had substantial skills in self defense," McKimm said.
The man quickly kicked Hobbs to the ground. The supposed military man did not show up to the trial, nor did he show any interest in it, McKimm said. Hobbs testified he'd received worse beatings from others.
A pre-sentence report on Hobbs shows a past wrought with physical and emotional abuse. He has suffered from depression since he was 20, McKimm said. In his past, Hobbs was kidnapped by his own father, after which he spent some time at the mental health ward at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Hobbs was admitted to the hospital multiple times. During one visit, he expressed fear that he and his girlfriend would be harmed by the "Armstrong murderer."
McKimm believed Hobbs' actions arose entirely out of his mental health issues and was reassured by the accused's willingness to have his condition monitored. Hobbs is conflicted over his medication. It provides stability but he dislikes the side effects.
"One can only be sympathetic to someone with those struggles," McKimm said.
Hobbs was given a suspended sentence and put on a two-year probation order.
"If you maintain your health, society will be protected," McKimm said.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013