Charter challenge forces adjournment of Penticton sentencing hearing in beach assault | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Charter challenge forces adjournment of Penticton sentencing hearing in beach assault

February 24, 2021 - 12:11 PM

A sudden turn of events at the sentencing hearing of the man accused of delivering a single punch that left a Penticton man with a severe brain injury.

Thomas Kruger-Allen, 22, has pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and one count of aggravated assault in the May 3, 2019 incident at Penticton's Okanagan Lake Beach that resulted in massive head injuries to victim Brad Elliason. Eliason sustained life-changing injuries from a single punch to the jaw, delivered by Kruger-Allen after an altercation with two women at a beach party.

Defence lawyer James Pennington said there was a Charter of Rights breach during Kruger-Allen’s arrest after beach assault. Pennington raised the issue late in the day yesterday, Feb. 23, and brought it up again this morning. Kruger-Allen, a Penticton Indian Band resident, was arrested in his fifth-wheel trailer the day after the assault.

Crown prosecutor Nashina Devji said she was unaware of the possible Charter breech until it was raised by Pennington yesterday afternoon.

Following a recess in order to consult with police on the matter, Devji told court she was unable to speak with police who were present at the arrest and asked to adjourn the hearing until March 5 in order to contact police and “determine a position.”

Arrangements may also be needed to have Kruger-Allen present in court should testimony be needed. He was granted an application to appear for his sentencing hearing by video due to COVID-19 restrictions that would have seen him quarantine for two weeks upon return to Okanagan Correctional Centre.

Prior to the adjournment, Kruger-Allen spoke on his own behalf, telling the court he was “truly sorry for what happened,” adding he took responsibility for his actions.

Crown is asking for a five to six year jail sentence, while defence is seeking 12 to 18 months jail with time already served.

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