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UPDATE: 'He's a faggot. He deserved it'

UPDATE: 'He's a faggot. He deserved it'

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Crown calls Woodward a "liar" and suggests attack was planned
 

UPDATE: July 26, 5:55pm

Shawn Woodward is a "liar" and fabricated evidence, the Crown said in closing submissions on July 26 in the alleged gaybashing case at the Fountainhead.

Woodward is facing a charge of aggravated assault in the March 13, 2009 attack in which he had admitted he hit Ritchie Dowrey, then 61.

Vancouver provincial court Judge Jocelyn Palmer says she will rule in the case on Aug 10.

Woodward is relying on a self-defence claim, saying that Dowrey attempted to grab his crotch just prior to the punch.

"The Crown urges the court in finding that no alleged assault - sexual or otherwise - occurred," Crown counsel Jacinta Lawton told Palmer. "That is a fabrication by Mr Woodward."

She called the punch "excessive."

"The effect of the incident to Mr Dowrey is catastrophic," she said. "I invite you to convict Mr Woodward of aggravated assault."

Defence lawyer Joel Whysall argued Woodward should be acquitted. "One punch is not excessive in the face of a crotch grab," he said. "There is no medical evidence (from the punch alone) to support the view that the force was excessive."

He said Woodward is not a liar.

"Why else would he hit a complete stranger?" Whysall asked. "He has to have an explanation. There is no reasonable alternative except my client's explanation. There's no hateful or anti-homosexual statements made before or during the assault."

He told Palmer assault laws allow for self-defence in the case of a real or perceived threat.

What's more, Whysall said, Woodward knew the reputation of the pub and its clientele.

"It is not a case that hinges on sexual preference," Whysall said. "It makes no difference if it is man to man, man to woman or woman to woman."

In earlier testimony, Palmer heard from witness Greg Price, a friend and roommate of the accused, that Dowrey approached Woodward several times.

Price said Dowrey first offered to buy Woodward a drink and later touched him on the shoulder.

Woodward testified that Dowrey put his arm around him at one point and squeezed him.

In the incident before the punch, Whysall says Dowrey touched Woodward in the crotch, "a highly personal area... without his consent."

"He was touched inappropriately in a sexual manner," Whysall said. "He is entitled to use force to repel an assault."

Woodward testified about the alleged touch prior to the punch when he took the stand last week.

"I felt his hand graze across my thigh toward my crotch," Woodward testified on Thursday. "I closed my fist and punched him in the chin. He fumbled backwards and fell."

But, argued Lawton, there was no crotch grab.

She says it was key evidence Woodward would have provided to police on being detained - but didn't.

Further, she says, Woodward appeared unsure where Dowrey was in relation to him, given the fact he said they were facing each other and Dowrey's left hand touched his left thigh.

"This is a key element of the incident and something you would not be mistaken about," she told Palmer. "Mr Woodward really is mistaken on a key point."

Woodward then turned and left the bar, evidence shows. A video surveillance tape from the pub shows him stepping over Dowrey and leaving, with his friend Price leaving through another door, also videotaped.

Whysall told Palmer much of what happened outside the pub can be attributed to Woodward's state of mind at being surrounded by agitated people from the pub.

Patron Lindsay Wincherauk testified that Woodward said, "'He's a faggot. He deserved it. The faggot touched me. He deserved it.'"

Whysall did not deny the slurs are homophobic but said it was the angry and confused man's response to his situation

"A cornered animal will show its teeth to ensure its safety," he said.

Further, Whysall cautioned the judge against giving too much weight to Wincherauk's recall of the words because it was not used in the man's original statement to police.

"Isn't it a better newspaper headline - 'He deserved it. He was a faggot.'" Whysall asked.

He called into question testimony from Fountainhead bartender Scott Larin.

Whysall said in one version Larin said Woodward said 'Get out of my way, faggot" while another version uses the word "fag" while in a third version the words are "Get your hands off me, faggot."

Lawton said Woodward's words "suggest an anti-gay sentiment in his mind at the moment he punched (Dowrey)."

"They offer insight into what was going on in his mind," she told the court.

She said Woodward told a detective he was getting tired of Dowrey's attentions "because he wanted to leave the impression he was the victim of a sexual assault."

Added Lawton, "(Woodward) did agree he called Mr Dowrey a faggot after the incident and he may have said 'he deserved it,'" Lawton said.

Woodward has also changed his evidence, Lawton argued.

She said he initially told the police Dowrey touched him, while in court the evidence became a crotch grab.

She further cast doubt on Woodward's story that he had invited Price down for a drink. She said Price taking a bus and a SkyTrain and then a cab Woodward paid for to get to the pub, watching some of a Canucks game and then going for dinner at Woodward's doesn't ring true.

Further, Lawton asked why Woodward and Price stayed at the pub after Woodward's construction worker friends had left even though Woodward said he found Dowrey's attentions unwanted.

"(It) begs the question 'why?'" Lawton said.

She also questioned Price's evidence that he didn't see the punch when it appears contradicted by what can be seen in videotape of the events.

"You see Mr Price clearly looking in the direction of the assault, he sees it and almost at the same time he leaves," Lawton submitted.

"There must have been some conversation between Mr Price and Mr Woodward... whereby Mr Price knew what Mr Woodward was going to do," Lawton said.

Lawton also questioned why Woodward chose to exit using a route that saw him go straight past the man he claimed had made him uncomfortable with his attentions.

"It would have been easier for him to use the other way," she said.

Lawton said Price had claimed he was shocked by the punch.

Yet, she said, addressing the suggestions Price and Woodward may have been in collusion on an attack on Dowrey, Price was straight out of the door after the punch was thrown and Dowrey dropped to the floor.

"Mr Price is very quick on his feet for someone who is in shock," she told Palmer.

Whysall rejected the notion that the assault was planned.

"If there was a plot to punch (Dowrey), why isn't my client sprinting down the street?" he asked.


UPDATE: July 23, 5pm

A Crown prosecutor Friday picked apart the sexual assault allegations made by the man accused in the March 13, 2009 alleged gaybashing at The Fountainhead.

Shawn Woodward, 37, is charged with aggravated assault in the attack which left former stockbroker Ritchie Dowrey in a care home unable to look after himself.

Prosecutor Jacinta Lawton went through testimony about the evening's events piece by piece before confronting Woodward with one statement.

"You walked over to Mr Dowrey and punched him square in the face because he had the audacity to ask to buy you a drink or to play pool in a gay bar," she said.

"I disagree with that," Woodward said.

Woodward admitted Thursday he punched Dowrey. He told the court he did it after Dowrey made three alleged advances towards him: offering to buy him a drink, later putting his arm around him, and finally brushing his crotch.

"I felt his hand graze across my thigh toward my crotch," Woodward testified Thursday. "I closed my fist and punched him in the chin. He fumbled backwards and fell."

Under cross-examination by Lawton, Woodward appeared confused.

He told Lawton the pair had been face to face as he attempted to leave the pub.

Dowrey brushed his left thigh, he said. "We were pretty much in front of each other."

He said Dowrey had a pool cue in his right hand.

That would mean the pool cue was by Woodward's left thigh.

Lawton questioned how it could be that Dowrey would bypass Woodward's crotch yet then move his hand back toward it. "On your evidence, Mr. Dowrey has to reach across your crotch to get to your thigh," Lawton said.

"He didn't grab your crotch?" she asked.

"My crotch? No," Woodward answered.

"Have you ever had someone touch your crotch?" she asked. "Did he or did he not touch your crotch?"

"Yes, he did," Woodward said.

Lawton pointed to the statement Woodward gave police hours after the incident. In it, Woodward said he wasn't sure if it was a hand that touched him.

"You don't know what his intention was when he moved his hand," Lawton said.

"I was fairly sure what it was," Woodward answered.

He said he was going to give Dowrey a slap but formed a fist instead.

Lawton again read from Woodward's statements in the police interview transcript from March 14, 2009. "I went to bitch-slap him but I then thought (that's) probably not appropriate in this place so I just gave him a little knock," Woodward told a detective.

He told the court he was offended by Dowrey's comment that "you'll be back."

Lawton suggested to Woodward he was upset by the implication that Dowrey thought he was gay or didn't know he was.

Woodward disagreed.

Lawton again pointed to Woodward's police statement. In it, he said Dowrey said "something inappropriate."

When the detective asked for the exact words, Woodward said, "I can't recall."

Lawton questioned that. "Eight hours after this incident you couldn't remember this comment that offended you so much? Now, over a year and a half later you remember it was "you'll be back."

Lawton also put to Woodward the testimony of Const Thomas Nilhausen who told the court Woodward had said on arrest that Dowrey had grabbed his crotch.

Friday, Woodward said Dowrey had touched his crotch for a "miniscule" amount of time.

"Did he squeeze it?" asked Lawton.

"No," said Woodward.

"He didn't grab it?" She asked.

"No," he responded.

Lawton also questioned why Woodward had taken that route out of the bar as it involved passing Dowrey again who, he claimed, was the reason he was leaving.

He agreed he had been closer to another door when he decided to leave with his friend Greg Price.

He said the intention had been to go to his home with Price for dinner.

Lawton questioned why he then left the bar without his friend and proceeded down Burrard.

It was there Woodward was caught by bar staff and patrons.

"He said, 'He's a faggot. He deserved it. The faggot touched me. He deserved it,'" patron Lindsay Wincherauk testified July 21. "It was brash, very, very strong."

Lawton further questioned Woodward on Dowrey's alleged advances.

Woodward said Dowrey first made eye contact with him. Lawton asked if that made him uncomfortable.

"Initially, no but I thought it was bit strange. I just thought it was weird that he kept looking at me."

"So," asked Lawton, "you thought it was odd in a largely gay bar that a man you thought was gay would come up and ask to buy you a drink?"

Responded Woodward, "It was strange to me."

Next, according to Woodward, Dowrey put his arm around him and squeezed him. Woodward called that "aggressive."

At that point, Lawton interjected. She said Woodward had described it as "persistent" before.

Woodward agreed he had changed his evidence.

"Is it possible he was being friendly?" she asked. "Have any of your friends ever done that to you?"

"You didn't like it when this man you thought was gay came up and put his arm around you," Lawton said.

Woodward said he asked Dowrey not to touch him and to leave him alone.

"I was getting frustrated," he said.

"But you stayed another 20 minutes?" Lawton asked.

"Yes," Woodward responded.

"Did you believe he was attracted to you?" Lawton asked.

"At that point, yes," Woodward said.

Lawton asked Woodward if he has ever offered to buy a girl a drink after being rebuffed.

"No, I have not," he said.

But, he said he wouldn't find it strange if other guys did try a second time with women.

Woodward also testified he believed Dowrey was drunk.

"I could tell he had been drinking by the way he was talking and slurring his speech and stuff," he said. "There was a few times he did stagger and stuff."

Fountainhead chief bartender Scott Larin testified earlier that Dowrey had one double Bombay gin with a twist of lemon. A second one Dowrey had ordered remained untouched on the bar after the assault, Larin said.

Lawton also questioned Woodward on his statement to police about the number of times he had been to The Fountainhead.

"I have been there three times exactly. No I've been twice that I know of," Woodward's statement says.

Later in the statement, Woodward denied the attack was a hate crime.

"At no point in the interview did (the detective) mention hate crime," Lawton said. "Those are your words."

"Correct," said Woodward.

Woodward had also testified he was bewildered by the situation outside the pub after he was detained while police arrived.

Lawton asked him if he had done anything to get rid of his confusion.

"Yeah, I tried to leave," he answered.

"I'm going to suggest to you that you could have said 'what's the big deal,'" Lawton said. "In fact, you tried to bust through these people. You knew you did something wrong."

Palmer will hear closing arguments on July 26. It's not known if she will deliver her judgment that day.

 
UPDATE:  July 22, 6:30pm


Police officers who arrested the man charged with aggravated assault after an alleged gaybashing at Vancouver's Fountainhead Pub on March 13, 2009 say he wanted the victim charged with sexual assault.

Vancouver Police Department Const Blake Chersinoff was one of the first officers to deal with Shawn Woodward after he was held by customers and patrons following the assault on pub regular Ritchie Dowrey.

In testimony before Vancouver provincial court Judge Jocelyn Palmer, Chersinoff was asked what Woodward said when arrested.

"'He touched me. I'm not a fag. He touched me. I'm not a fag,'" Chersinoff responded. "He repeated that over and over."

Woodward's trial began July 21 and is scheduled through July 26.

Woodward admitted he hit Dowrey when he took the stand Thursday.

"I felt his hand graze across my thigh toward my crotch," Woodward testified. "I closed my fist and punched him in the chin. He fumbled backwards and fell."

Asked by his lawyer, Joel Whysall, why he then fled the bar, Woodward said he "didn't want anything to do with that situation anymore."

It wasn't until almost six hours later that a detective told Woodward that Dowrey was unconscious in hospital.

"I was horrified," said Woodward, clearly emotional.

He confirmed the statements he made on arrest.

"I said, 'He touched me. I'm not a fag. He's a fag. He shouldn't have touched me,'" Woodward said.

Woodward said he was "very angry, agitated, upset, kind of bewildered" when he said the words.

However, he said he could not recall saying Dowrey deserved to be punched as other witnesses have testified.

In court, he said he had no intention to injure Dowrey.

"He grabbed me. I was trying to get out. I was trying to get away. He grabbed me," Woodward said.

Whysall said there must have been options other than punching Dowrey.

"It's the only option I could think of at the time that would get me out of there," Woodward said.

"Did you hit him because he was gay?" Whysall asked.

"No, I did not," Woodward said.

Whysall then asked if Woodward knew Dowrey was gay.

"I got a feeling, yes," he responded.

He said he knew The Fountainhead was a gay bar.

"I knew the Davie St. area as a predominantly gay and homosexual area," Woodward said.

Woodward's friend, Greg Price, told the court earlier that Woodward had invited him for a drink on that evening.

"'Come on down for a beer,'" Price said Woodward suggested late that afternoon. "He said he was at The Fountainhead pub on Davie St."

Price told the court he witnessed the assault.

"Shawn punched him in the jaw and he fell to the ground," Price said.

Price, a longtime friend and roommate of Woodward, said he had two or three bottles of beer while Woodward had four or five. He said they had been there with Woodward's construction co-workers who left not long after Price arrived.

Price said realized the pub was a gay and in a "predominantly gay area" after he arrived.

He said Woodward paid for a cab for him to get from Granville SkyTrain station to the Davie and Burrard pub.

"It didn't look like a bad little pub," he said. "I could tell the patrons were of a homosexual nature by the way they were interacting with each other. Guys were grabbing each other's asses."

He said he had seen Dowrey "periodically glancing in our area."

Price said Dowrey first approached Woodward and offered to buy him a drink just after the other workers left.

"Shawn told him, 'No, I'm not like that,'" Price testified.

He said Dowrey later returned and put his hand on Woodward's shoulder.

Woodward asked him not to, Price told the court. "He was civil but he was trying to get his point across that he didn't want to be touched. A little more stern than your average voice but it wasn't hostile."

Price said Dowrey approached Woodward maybe four times.

"He seemed civil but he persisted. He wouldn't leave Shawn alone," Price said.

Price said Woodward appeared in no way hostile.

Price said Dowrey appeared intoxicated.

"I saw him stumble a couple times," Price said. "He slurred his words a little bit. It might be he tripped over something. I just assumed it was the booze."

Price had earlier testified he had not heard what was being said.

Fountainhead chief bartender Scott Larin testified earlier that Dowrey had one double Bombay gin with a twist of lemon. A second one Dowrey had ordered remained untouched on the bar after the assault, Larin said.

Price told the court that Woodward indicated he wanted to leave.

"He said, 'Let's get out of here.' I just assumed Shawn'd had enough of this guy bothering him," Price said.

Under questioning from Crown prosecutor Jacinta Lawton, Price said Woodward put on his backpack prior to the attack.

There, the judge interjected.

"Did the backpack go on before or after the punch?" Palmer asked.

In previous testimony, Fountainhead regular Bin Pham said he heard an exchange between Woodward and a tall skinny guy.

Price is six feet tall and weighed 145 pounds at the time of the incident, the court heard.

Pham said while he was racking the balls for a pool game with Dowrey, he heard a short guy, indicating Woodward, say to the tall, skinny man: "Are you okay with that?"

He said the other responded, "'Yes, I'm okay with that.'"

Lawton questioned Price about the exchange Pham heard.

"He said, 'Are you okay with that?'" Price confirmed. "He was referring to leaving."

Price confirmed he and Woodward left the bar immediately after the punch. Prior to that, the accused and victim had been standing near each other, Price said.

Price said once he and Woodward were on Davie St, "a bunch of guys came out of the bar" and restrained Woodward.

"'You don't touch me.' I remember him saying that several times," Price testified. "I believe he was referring to the incident inside the bar."

But, he added, he did not see Dowrey touch Woodward more than once, referring to the touch on the shoulder.

Price said he did not hear any of the other comments made outside the bar while waiting for police.

Despite that evidence, two other witnesses testified to hearing homophobic remarks from Woodward.

"He said 'He's a faggot. He deserved it. The faggot touched me. He deserved it,'" Wincherauk testified July 21. "It was brash, very, very strong."

Yesterday, Larin told the court he heard homophobic statements as well.

However, on Thursday, Whysall took issue with some of Larin's testimony and the fact that he did not write a full statement for police on the night of the incident.

Whysall suggested Larin couldn't remember whether Woodward had said "fag" or "faggot."

"I'm going to suggest to you that this is a total fabrication," Whysall said. "It never happened."

Larin had already objected to Whysall's questioning.

"He's calling me a liar again, Your Honour," Larin told Palmer.

The judge interjected after Whysall asked Price if he had ever seen Woodward threaten a homosexual.

"No," said Price before Lawton jumped in with an objection.

"This is not a case about whether Mr Woodward is on general principle homophobic or not," she said. "What is an issue is his reaction to what happened in the bar that evening. What was his intent that evening?"

The judge questioned why Whysall would want to put Woodward's character at issue.

Whysall said it was to put into context his client's statements outside the pub.

"People have been told it's a complete and utter fabrication," Palmer said. "Now we're putting it into context. What's going on?"

Lawton took a number of witnesses through testimony on the opening day detailing the bar, its predominantly gay clientele and its location in Vancouver's gay village.

Wincherauk mentioned the rainbow flags in The Fountainhead.

"In Vancouver, basically it means gay," he said.

Lawton told the court in her opening that Woodward's punch resulted in injuries including bleeding on the brain, a shift in the brain and a skull fracture.

Sixteen months later, Dowrey remains in a care home.


July 21, 5:45pm 


"He's a faggot. He deserved it. He touched me. I'm not a faggot. The faggot deserved it."'

Those words, or variations thereof, are what witnesses heard the accused say after they detained him outside the Fountainhead Pub on March 13, 2009.

Shawn Woodward had, moments earlier, knocked Ritchie Dowrey unconscious with a punch to the head then calmly stepped over the body and left, witnesses told a Vancouver provincial court judge.

Woodward is on trial for aggravated assault for the attack on Dowrey. The four-day trial began on July 21.

Crown prosecutor Jacinta Lawton told Judge Jocelyn Palmer that the assault took place in the Davie St neighbourhood pub, which attracts a mixed crowd, including members of the gay community.

"Davie St is known as a place where everyone is welcome, especially members of the gay community," Lawton said.

Lawton asked all four witnesses Wednesday to characterize the pub. All said it was a mixed neighbourhood pub crowd that caters predominantly to the gay community.

When asked outside court if she will be seeking a hate designation to be added to a possible conviction, Lawton said it was too early to say.

"That's a consideration for sentencing," she told Xtra. "We'll wait and see how it unfolds and what the judge's decision is."

Though Woodward plans to rely on a self-defence case alleging Dowrey made sexual advances toward him, Lawton described the attack during a pool game as unprovoked.

"The evidence will show that... Mr Woodward delivered a single punch to the head of Mr Dowrey that resulted in massive brain injuries in Mr Dowrey," Lawton told Palmer. "As a result, he will never live the same again."

"There was no sexual assault or attempted sexual assault by Mr Dowrey," Lawton added.

Lawton said the risk of injury to Dowrey had to have been foreseen by Woodward.

The court heard from four witnesses Wednesday including bar staff and patrons.

Lawton opened her case by showing a number of videos from security cameras in the bar. While they do not show the assault itself, they do show Dowrey falling to the ground and someone stepping over him and heading toward the door.

"Mr Dowrey does not move in the end of the video," Lawton said. "He does not move at all."

The court heard Woodward immediately left the bar and was pursued by staff and patrons who caught him down the street.

Waitress Kristi McNicholl told the court she knew Dowrey as an "amicable person. He was friends with everyone."

She said she saw Dowrey was leaning over a pool table to make a shot when Woodward punched him.

She said Woodward appeared to be with a group of construction workers who had been patronizing the bar on Fridays.

McNicholl said Woodward had put on his backpack and hat as if ready to leave before walking round the table. She said he had been watching Dowrey.

"The accused just raised his arm, turned it into a fist... punched Ritchie in the back left jaw area," she said.

Dowrey then fell straight backward and struck his head on a tile floor, she said.

"It was loud. It was a pop. It was something a lot of people heard," she testified.

"The accused just hopped right over him completely calm and walked right out the door," McNicholl said.

Patron Lindsay Wincherauk testified he had been sitting at the end of the bar with the pool table in his line of vision.

He said Woodward came around the end of the table with his arm raised. He said Dowrey was raising his hand as if to high-five the accused.

"I saw a fist being pulled back," Wincherauk testified. "Mr Dowrey started to raise his hand. "In a matter of a flash, Mr Dowrey was falling to the ground.

"He [Woodward] hit him square in the face," Wincherauk said.

He described the victim's fall like a straight piece of wood falling before Dowrey hit his head on the tile. "It was hard enough to knock him over backward."

"There was a sickening thud," Wincherauk said.

"Mr Dowrey had a smile on his face while all of this was happening," he added.

Woodward's lawyer, Joel Whysall, suggested to Wincherauk that Dowrey was, in fact, raising his hands to defend himself.

"Most of the time people aren't smiling when they're protecting themselves," Wincherauk retorted. "I believe he held up his hand to high five."

Under questioning from Lawton, Wincherauk told the court "it's quite obvious" the pub caters to a gay crowd. He pointed to the giant paintings of nude men and women. He also mentioned the pub's rainbow flags. "In Vancouver, basically it means gay," he said.

Whysall also questioned Wincherauk about his involvement in a press conference with local politicians and community leaders after the attack. Whysall suggested the thrust of the media conference was for the attack to be considered a hate crime.

Lawton jumped in and questioned the relevance of the question. The judge backed Lawton. "I'm not sure how the witness can attest to the motivation of a throng of people," Palmer ruled.

Patron Bin Pham testified to seeing the attack. He said Dowrey was in the bar to celebrate his retirement.

Pham testified he and Dowrey decided to play pool.

Pham said that while he was racking the balls, he heard a short guy, indicating Woodward, say to another man: "Are you okay with that?"

He said the other responded, "'Yes, I'm okay with that."

Head bartender Scott Larin later testified that as Woodward was in police custody, he turned to the other man and said, "'Remember what you were supposed to see. Yeah, he touched me, he touched me.'"

After hearing the exchange, Pham said Woodward pulled his arm all the way back with a fist and punched Dowrey in the face.

Wincherauk said Woodward casually walked out of the bar after stepping over Dowrey.

He said he and several other patrons and staffers caught him about 100 feet down the street and told him they were going to detain him.

He said Woodward tried to barge through the group several times, saying he was going home.

"He said 'He's a faggot. He deserved it. The faggot touched me. He deserved it,'" Wincherauk testified. "It was brash, very, very strong."

Wincherauk says he then took Woodward's hat and threw it into the community garden.

"I said, 'Don't you want to hit me?'" Wincherauk said. "He started the faggot stuff again. It was kind of a continuous loop."

Larin said he got to Woodward first outside the bar.

"His first words were 'He deserved it,'" Larin said. "'He's gay. He's a fag. He deserved it. He touched me,'" Larin said Woodward told him.

Larin said he then moved in to subdue Woodward.

His words to me as I got close were, 'Get the fuck out of my way, faggot,'" Larin said.

Larin said he pushed Woodward against a fence to hold him for police who were then arriving.

He said he leaned in close and whispered in Woodward's ear. "I said, 'Guess what? I'm not gay," Larin said. "He stopped."

At that point, bouncers from Celebrities arrived and took control of the screaming Woodward until police arrived and put the accused in a car, Larin said.

Larin said Dowrey had only had one drink and that Woodward appeared sober.

Medical evidence admitted by consent of Crown and defence notes Dowrey was "deeply unconscious" when admitted to Vancouver General Hospital, where he underwent a three-hour operation.

Lawton told the court Dowrey had bleeding on the brain, a shift in his brain position and a skull fracture.

When assessed two months later, Dowrey could not move his left side and had minor motion on the right.

He couldn't eat, couldn't sleep and was incontinent, Lawton told Palmer.

He now lives in a care home in Langley where he needs help with eating, dressing and going to the bathroom, she said.

"The Ritchie Dowrey that went into The Fountainhead on March 13, 2009, is gone," Lawton said.

Dowrey's brother Allan was in court but declined to comment on the case.

A number of members of the gay community were in court, including Fountainhead manager Derek White.

He said he had problems looking at Woodward in court.

"I'm pissed off that he had the nerve to come into our pub and take away that sense of security that we'd always had," White said.

The trial is scheduled to continue through July 26.

 

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Comments

Tolerance?
Again, who wants to be tolerated?

I despise that word, it means to put up with something you hate.

Acceptance is the key. People can shove their tolerance.
RE:Wayne Madden Comment
Wayne I agree that with straight people especially men coming into our bars they should be aware that they will be oogled at and perhaps approached but I also think that regardless of who we approach when the person says no it means no regardless of rather they be gay or straight a no is still no
I am sadden by how the Pumpjack incident played out but I think respect on both sides of the fence goes along way.
He touched my crotch so I bashed him in the face?
Hmmm.. well, maybe next time someone will actually be killed due to the violent assault this man seems to feel is recourse for flirtation (not that I believe him).

People need to wake up and realize violence is not the answer to anything-- if this did occur he could have simply said No thank you, and if he was being harassed asked one of the staff to intervene (and this is why it is imperative that the bars of dt Vancouver and in particular the gay bars -- being community places need training in how to handle situations like this for their own safety and that of others. Violence should never be the 1st decision-- in fact it should be used only in as a very last resort and from my personal experience that is not always the case).

Always learning, always moving forward, always improving ourselves and our community-- thats the right way ;-) I think.
TIRED OF THESE IDIOTS!!
Living in the west end for the last 25 years is making me realize that the homophobia is getting worse. I thought in this day and age that people would be more tolerant, but it just seems as if the homophobic people are being more careful when bashing us to make sure it doesn't fall into the hate crime category. I always thought that if something was premeditated it made the crime worse. For this reason, I don't hold hands with my partner of 10 years for fear that it will give someone ammunition to say something against me.
Everyone knows that there is a higher concentration of people from the LGBT community in the west end. So if you can't tolerate that, you're not welcome in our community. It's plain and simple. You respect us and we'll respect you because hopefully one of these days, the idiots will come across someone who will be able to fight back and then they'll have to say that they were beaten up by a "fag".
Karma's a bitch.
Hopefully the Judge will make a PRECEDENT!
It is my hope that this judge will make a precedent in terms of honoring the prosecution and sentencing the accused,if found guilty, to the full extent of the law, or perhaps even making a precedent to change the law to make it more just in sentencing people found guilty, in such violent hate crimes. This alleged perpetrator, alledgedly violently assaulted another human being to the point where the victim has actually had to live in a care facility due to the brain damage, according to the news reports. The damage would seem greivous in nature. In such an incident, there is also normally peripheral damage to every person in that club, and outside of the club that had to witness such a hate crime, not to mention anyone who cares about the victim, in terms of trauma. One hopes that there will be victim impact statements read into the court for full consideration. This alleged crime could have affected the sense of safety that everyone in and around that club and neighbourhood could feel, not to mention almost every aware glbt person in Canada could feel in terms of feeling unsafe if such violent incidents are allowed to continue unchecked by the rule of law, or down-played in the law. An injury to one is an injury to ALL. What was the alleged doing in a gay bar if he was possibly so afraid, perhaps so insecure about his own sense of self,perhaps so completely uneducated about and ultimately according to his own actions, so hateful towards gay people?! Questions from a longtime activist for queer equality and protection; for human and animal rights.
It's too bad
this frightened, pathetic excuse of a man didn't venture into Lick Nightclub.

They'd have beat the living shite out of him.
Homosexual Panic Defense
I attended the trial yesterday and plan to return this morning to see Woodward under cross examination. What was clear yesterday was that he assaulted Dowrey because he was "uncomfortable" with the attention that Dowrey was paying to him. Woodward admitted to being agitated because he was touched by a faggot. Using the homosexual panic argument as a excuse for bashing a gay man is pathetic. Hopefully, the judge will label this a hate crime and give Wooodward a sentence that fits the horrific nature of this crime. Dowrey remains in a care home as a result of his injuries.
so retro
If we were in the 50's this argument would fly, let's hope the judge sees through the bs of this arrogant piece of caca. He knew it was a gay place and he had an agenda.
Closet Case
Woodward is an obviously repressed individual that needs major counseling to accept his attraction to men. Hopefully his stint in prison will provide him with the proper care. He will make a nice boyfriend behind bars.
Straights need to understand...
When heterosexuals enter into LGBT spaces, whether they are bars, restaurants, communities such as Davie Street, cruising areas or LGBT clubs, they need to respect the fact these are OUR meeting places. If they are in a Gay bar, they should expect to be approached by members of the same sex who may find them sexually attractive, just as when we enter heterosexual spaces, we can expect people of the opposite sex to take an interest in us.

Even if a man is straight, surely he can recognize that if a Gay man in a Gay bar does approach him, it is to be taken as compliment. All he needs to do is politely say he is not interested, and if the approach makes him uncomfortable, go to a straight bar.

A male who has to punch out another man because he is Gay is hardly much of a man and definitely not secure with his own sexuality.

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