Vernon homeless man acquitted in stabbing case | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon homeless man acquitted in stabbing case

Vernon Supreme Court
September 15, 2017 - 12:18 PM

VERNON - A 62-year-old homeless man broke down in tears today after being acquitted of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

Maurice Taillon was held in custody for roughly 15 months in relation to a November 2014 stabbing in Spallumcheen.

The complainant, 39-year-old Cameron Ormiston, said he invited Taillon back for dinner and offered him a place to sleep for the night because it was cold out. Taillon accepted the offer, but was later asked to leave following a night of drinking. While being forcibly escorted off the property by Ormiston and another man, Taillon stabbed Ormiston in the chest with a knife.

The case finally came to trial this week in Vernon Supreme Court.

Justice Miriam Maisonville said in her decision today, Sept. 15, that Ormiston was not a credible witness. Due to a publication ban, certain testimony given at the trial cannot be published.

Maisonville described how Taillon, an elderly homeless man with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, reasonably feared for his life and attacked Ormiston in self defence.

Maisonville, who delivered her decision in French, said Taillon was being forcibly dragged off the property towards a ditch by two larger men and believed that Ormiston had a knife on him. He thought he was going to be killed.

Taillon broke out into tears and smiles after Maisonville proclaimed him not guilty of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

Outside of court, Taillon’s lawyer Sandra Mandanici said he is extremely happy to be a free man again.

She said Taillon has lived in B.C. for about 20 years and been homeless most of his life.

“He prides himself on not collecting welfare,” she said, noting he claims to have only ever accepted two welfare cheques.

Mandanici says they gave him some clothing and a bit of money to help him on his way, although he plans on going to a farm, living simply, and picking apples.

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