OA_show('Leaderboard - Xx90');
Choose your edition:

Search form

Judge rules Fountainhead bashing a hate crime


Judge rules Fountainhead bashing a hate crime

Shawn Woodward (left), seen here with lawyer Joel Whysall, was sentenced to six years in prison with a hate crime designation in Vancouver Provincial Court on Nov 8 for his March 2009 attack on Ritchie Dowrey in a Vancouver gay pub. IMAGE 1 OF 1
Woodward sentenced to six years in prison
On Oct 22, Crown prosecutor Jacinta Lawton suggested Shawn Woodward's attack on Ritchie Dowrey at Vancouver's Fountainhead Pub be declared a hate crime.

On Nov 8, Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Jocelyn Palmer agreed.

"I see no other possible explanation for Mr Woodward's behaviour than virulent homophobia," Palmer said, sentencing Woodward to six years in prison.

Palmer ruled that the crime fit the hate-crime criteria set out by BC Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves when he found Michael Kandola guilty of a hate crime in the 2008 assault on Jordan Smith.

Smith was walking hand in hand with his boyfriend on Davie St when Kandola called him a "faggot" and sucker punched him.

Palmer described Woodward's punch as a sucker punch as well, albeit a "catastrophic" one.

"The force of the punch knocked Mr Dowrey out on impact," Palmer said. "It was intended to be punishing."

Woodward also repeatedly uttered homophobic remarks after knocking Dowrey unconscious, saying he was a "faggot, he deserved it."

Palmer called Woodward's words "despicable" and said he used excessive violence.

In ruling Kandola's attack a hate crime in April, Groves said the Crown needed to prove homophobic language was used before, during or after the assault; that the attack occurred in a gay area; and that there was no previous interaction between the parties.

"I find these factors fit that framework," Palmer ruled.
"There has never been before this court a single expression of remorse for what happened to Mr Dowrey," she added, later calling Woodward a "man of flawed character."

Woodward was handcuffed and led away by sheriffs as a gallery packed with members of Dowrey's family, friends, members of the gay community and media looked on.

The sentencing in Vancouver Province Court brings to a close part of the tragic tale that began March 13, 2009, when Woodward delivered a single blow to Dowrey's head in the Davie St gay bar.

"It is tragic that on the day he was celebrating his retirement, all of his future plans were cancelled by a punch from Mr Woodward," Palmer said.
The former stockbroker now lives in a Langley care home. He will never be able to live independently again.

Dowrey had been anticipating a change in his life when he went to The Fountainhead that night to celebrate his retirement.

What he didn't expect was Woodward's punch, which left him, as brother Allan Dowrey has said, "in storage."

The assault left the gay community in shock, more so because it happened in a gay space where people had thought they were safe.

Woodward had claimed self-defence in the case, accusing Dowrey of coming on to him and touching his crotch.
Palmer didn't buy it.

"I find Mr Woodward to be devoid of credibility in his allegations of sexual assault," Palmer said, dismissing the possibility that Woodward was provoked.

Woodward was angry at what he perceived as Dowrey's advances, Palmer ruled. He went out of his way to approach Dowrey as he left the pub, "drove his fist into his face," then stepped over his prone body with "utter disregard for Mr Dowrey's humanity."

Dowrey's family would not comment on the sentence.

Lawton had asked for six to seven years in prison, while Woodward's lawyer, Joel Whysall, suggested two years.
Whysall had no comment on the sentence.

Whysall had told Palmer at the sentencing hearing that Woodward's attack was a spontaneous reaction "not borne of a deep-seated hatred of homosexuals."
"In my opinion, Mr Woodward did not single out Mr Dowrey because of his sexual orientation," Whysall said. "He did not attend The Fountainhead Pub for the purpose of attacking a homosexual."
Even if his assault on Dowrey revealed hostility that came as a surprise to him, Woodward has yet to take responsibility for his actions and show any real remorse, Palmer ruled.

Lyndsay Wincherauk was the man who first caught Woodward outside the pub and first heard Woodward say, "He's a faggot. He deserved it. The faggot touched me. He deserved it."

Wincherauk says he is satisfied with Palmer's decision.

"I think it sends a strong message and allows the family to have a bit of peace," he says.

"I felt a little nauseous. I'd like to feel sorry for Woodward and the people he knows, but the lack of remorse subtracted that," he adds.

Qmunity executive director Jennifer Breakspear says the sentence is an indication that the justice system is listening to the queer community and its abhorrence for homophobic attacks.

"Hate crime really truly does instill terror in an entire community," she says. "Hate and violence against our community will not be tolerated."

Breakspear says the ruling sends a strong message. The Crown sought a hate crime designation and the judge heard, she says. "Those are important messages for our community, who felt for so long we didn't have a voice, we didn't have a champion."

"Virulent homophobia," says Ron Stipp of West Enders Against Violence Everywhere, repeating the judge's words.

"It's sad that it comes down to this, but I guess if there's justice, it was served today," he says.
OA_show('Text Ad - #1');
OA_show('Text Ad - #2');


does God really hate gays? think again!
fair sentencing
"It is tragic that on the day he was celebrating his retirement, all of his future plans were cancelled by a punch from Mr Woodward," Palmer said.

The former stockbroker now lives in a Langley care home."


after a 6 or 7 year sentence, mr. woodward should be released, IF, of course mr. dowrey no longer requires being in a care facility. as long as mr. dowrey's life has been "taken' from him, so should mr woodward's. fair is fair.

/my opinion
not extreme at all

Your hatred is the root of gay bashing. Your manipulation of ancient religious texts, twisted out of all historical context, is used to by homophobes like you to justify your hatred. You basically stated to all of us that a man who bashed another because of his sexuality does NOT deserve to be punished; going against our Canadian Charter of Human Rights where EVERY citizen deserves to be free from violence. Your further, explicitly used religious text to promote the idea that gay people are less than human. You further used that idea to justify violence against a person because they are gay.

Therefore you promoted hatred. In Canada you do NOT have the freedom to express hatred. Promoting hatred against a person because of their sexual orientation is a CRIME in Canada. You should be convicted of this crime if your identity is found out. You are no better in your ideology and your abuse of scripture to promote such hatred that a person who actually does it.

My position about promoting hatred is NOT extreme; it is one held by the Supreme Court of Canada determined by the moral and righteous sense of Canadians who are determined to stop violence in our country.

Your words and thoughts bash us. Your disregard for Ritchie because he is gay bashes us. You distortion of religious text bashes us. Your conclusion that we are less than human because we are gay bashes us.

There is only one place for people like you who bash us with your hateful words and ideas: that place is prison. You are the enemy of our community even more than Woodward is because your hatred has conviction.

You are a gay basher. If I find out who you are, I will phone the RCMP and have them investigate what you write here. Probably, you will be charged with inciting people to hatred. Hopefully, you will go to jail. There you can hang out with Woodward and commiserate with him. But at least, in a civilized and just society, we will be free of your written violence and rhetoric.
OMG Vidar
First off you have to wonder about the mental state of a person like Vidar and his comments here. Did you expect to be welcomed with open arms dear friend Vidar after you bascially call us
degenerates who will burn in hell with the help of that hateful god that you follow? What sort of reaction did you expect? haha, not as bright as you pretend to be. And yes, Vidar , you will return, I guarantee it because you get off on posting here and reading the comments, haha.
Keep a Sense of Humor
Actually, I am a very happy person, not a sad person at all. haha The people responding are a sad case. I am very in touch with what is real. The people responding here are not. I am on the right side of history. The people responding here are very mistaken, and probably not well educated. People here do not know Holy Scripture from our western tradition. They do not know the Holy Scripture from India. They do not know the wisdom and tradition of China, or Russia, or anywhere. Actually, go discuss this subject matter with Mr. Putin, okay? I am not interested in this conversation. I didn't say I care about any of you, personally. I don't know you! But, I might care about any human being. Life is hard, then you die. Right? I can have mercy. Don't you read well? I do not want Mr. Woodward to serve 6 years for a single provoked punch. That's all. Take all your filthy mouth and put it where the sun doesn't shine. Okay? Like most of what you probably do. haha Right? Let's face the facts, the people who responded are all possessed with hatred for the good and the pure. Yes, hold your breath waiting for me to be a queer. haha By the way, the word gay is a poetic word that means happy. Soon it will be restored to it's proper use. I love people. Feel sorry for yourselves, you're the pitiful, not me. You do not know the proper meaning of your own body parts, haha never mind be true! Have a nice conversation with yourselves. Yes, I grew up as a biker that found the true God, now I am a priest of the Most High. I never hurt a queer in my life. I am one of those that thought it was overkill to be mean to an effeminate person. So, wrong again. I think that Mr. Woodward was probably caught off guard, and felt victimized by the actions of Mr. Dowry. He probably felt like he was being humiliated by Mr, Dowry. Have a nice conversation with yourselves, I have to go. I do not think I will return. Good luck to all of you fellow human beings. haha Try to keep a sense of humor.
VIDAR. You are a sad individual who is completely out of touch with reality. You will be on the wrong side of history. You accidentally stumbled across this GAY website? HAHA, probably, like you accidentally look at gay porn, and accidentally are a closet homosexual. NORMAL heterosexual people don't care about homosexual people, they don't affect their daily lives. I find people that hold such hatred and venom towards something generally have something to hide. You fear that people might find out about you being a Homosexual, your beliefs counteract your desires. PROJECTIONS BIAS,a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies their own attributes, thoughts, and emotions. Thus, You cannot come to terms that you are a homosexual! It's OK VIDAR, we won't judge you. Your total prejudice towards gay people really is about you having an internal struggle. Your brainwashing versus your desires. I feel sorry for you actually, probably a very sad, lonely life, without ever coming to terms with your true sexuality. By chance are you a catholic priest?
The Lights Will Go On!
So any one who disagrees is homophobic, or certifiably insane, or an idiot. haha And, it is okay for you to defame me as well,eh? haha My friends point out how devoid of intelligence every comment from this site displays. Every person has called me names, and demonstrated hatred for what is normal. Every culture in the world, since time began, has considered this activity a moral wrong. Over the years, I have talked with a queer or two, about his queer behavior. They didn't deny it was morally wrong. I'm a gentleman, and I didn't beat anybody up over it. And, no one called me names. But, everyone of the answers in here is like fighting talk. You would probably provoke anger from any normal tough guy, who would punch your lights out. Yes? But,I do not need that action to prevail. I am not phobic about men. haha I am not a moron or an idiot. I have traveled the world, and I didn't find any cultures friendly to your ideas. I do not have a twisted, hate filled agenda. haha I explained how I accidentally came to this site. I do not know any of you, so we will not be friends in the future. I do not want to have conversation with people that show no respect. I Hope Mr, Dowry recovers well. I hope Mr, Woodward gets a break from a string of bad luck. I am sure he would take the punch back, in favor of a slap in the face. Right? After all, He says Mr.Dowry touched him after coming on to him, and saying he was queer. It seems like this 'community' has too much influence over the common sense of the authorities in this country. It must be time to vote them out of office. I'm sure that the majority of people in this land will agree with my 'common sense' over the existent authorities. Everyone who goes along with this nonsense better think again. Very soon, the lights will go on. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy,let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Well, I Tried
Yes, De Harp, you are homophobic. You only use your religion as an excuse to justify it to yourself. I am not a deo-phobe, as you put it. I, in fact, come from a loving, Christian family (my grandfather was a minister). I only have a problem with people like you who twist religion and use it as justification for your own bigotry. And lastly, De Harp, when I call you a homophobe, I do not do it out of hatred (an emotion I feel to be a waste of energy) I do it because that is what you are. It is a statement of fact, not judgment. I do not feel hatred towards you; only pity.

As to everyone else posting comments, I think we can all agree that attempting to argue with someone who is clearly set in their ways is a waste of everyone's time and energy. Don't let De Harp incite you into name-calling or anger, it will only further legitimize his opinions. We're allowing him to distract us from the original point of the article, which is the tragedy of what happened to Mr. Dowry. To Ritchie Dowry and his family I extend my condolences for the awful things he has been forced to endure, and I hope for nothing but the best for you all.
Do you know that millions, if not billions, of people do not follow the word of you god?

You'd think living to be a senior he, or she, would be somewhat world-traveled and able to form his own opinions that are not based on some fairy book story he hides behind.
Religious nuts
(Vidar de Harp), you are certifiably insane. I HATE religion. I think it's a neurological disorder. You quote the bible as if its the gold standard. The bible is nothing more than old stories that have been twisted around to support corrupt men. When I hear people say that religion doesn't hurt anything, I say really? Well besides wars, the crusades, the inquisitions, 9-11, ethnic cleansing, the suppression of women, the suppression of homosexuals, fatwas, honor killings, suicide bombings, arranged marriages to minors, human sacrifice, burning witches, and systematic sex with children, I have a few little quibbles. Why is that the people with the most ridiculous ideas are always the most certain of them?


Sign in or Register to post comments