Canadian Forces Reservists go on trial accused of killing homeless man

RackMaster

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WTF! I don't remember hearing about this. If they are found guilty, they deserve the MAX penalty and sadly we don't have the death penalty here any more.


Reservists go on trial accused of killing homeless man

Last Updated: Monday, March 17, 2008 | 9:05 AM ET Comments8Recommend33

CBC News


Three reserve soldiers charged with the killing of a homeless man begin their trial on Monday in Toronto.
Brian Deganis, Jeffery Hall and Mountaz Ibrahim are accused of beating to death 59-year-old Paul Croutch in August 2005.
It's alleged the attack happened as Croutch was sleeping on a park bench near Sherbourne and Shuter streets.
The three reservists had been at a function at nearby Moss Park Armoury.
The killing shocked people in Toronto, not only for its brutal violence against a vulnerable, homeless man, but also because three Canadian Forces reservists were accused of the fatal assault.
The Crown is expected to lay out its case against the three on Monday morning.
The first scheduled witness is a forensic expert who will describe the scene where Croutch was found.
An autopsy showed he had suffered head injuries likely caused by punching, kicking or stomping.

Later in the week prosecutors are expected to call a woman who witnessed the beating. She is expected to testify that she was also attacked.
The trial is expect to last about a month and a half.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
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They should have got more and an example be made of them. :2c:



Two reservists get 11 years for fatal beating in Toronto


Shannon Kari, Canwest News Service

Published: Thursday, May 01, 2008
TORONTO - Two Canadian Forces reservists were sentenced to 11 years in prison Thursday for beating a homeless man to death in a downtown Toronto park.
The actions of Jeffrey Hall and Brian Deganis were described as "despicable" by Superior Court Justice Eugene Ewaschuk.
The two men beat 59-year-old Paul Croutch because of their hatred for homeless people, the judge concluded.
croutch%20murder0501.jpg

Jeffrey Hall, shown entering the courthouse in Toronto on April 15, was sentenced to 11 years in prison Paul Croutch to death.


Peter J. Thompson/National Post


"Their elitist attitude must be condemned," said Ewaschuk, who suggested the two men treated Croutch as if he were their "personal" punching bag and soccer ball.
A third defendant, Mountaz Ibrahim, was sentenced to 12 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to assault causing bodily harm and a separate charge of assault causing bodily harm.
Hall, 24, and Deganis, 24, pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter in the savage attack against Croutch in the early morning hours of August 31, 2005.
They were on trial initially on charges of second-degree murder.
The Crown agreed to a plea on the lesser charge of manslaughter because there was a reasonable doubt as to whether it could prove the necessary intent required for murder, since the two men were severely intoxicated that night.
There was also a reasonable doubt about whether Ibrahim, who was originally charged with second-degree murder, was involved in the fatal beating.
All three men also pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm against Valerie Valen, who was beaten when she intervened and tried to stop the attack against Croutch
Hall and Deganis gave tearful apologies in court during the sentencing hearing this week.
They also spoke of their struggles with alcoholism.
"Alcohol ruins lives," stated Hall. "I want to say how sorry I am. I have replayed that night in my mind a million times."
"I will always be sorry. I am an alcoholic," said Deganis.
The three defendants served with the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, which has its headquarters in an armoury in the same park where Croutch often used a bench to sleep at night.
Crown attorney Hank Goody had asked for a sentence of 12 to 15 years for Hall and Deganis for their fatal beating of Croutch and subsequent assault of Valen.
The prosecutor told Ewaschuk that it was no "mere coincidence" the two men attacked a homeless person.
The jury heard during the trial that Hall and Deganis drank heavily during a celebration with visiting German soldiers.
They all returned to the armoury, where Deganis was overheard speaking of his dislike for homeless people
There was no evidence that Croutch ever fought back during the fatal beating.
While he had lived on the street for several years, Croutch had been a businessman and publisher of a community paper in northern B.C. in the 1980s, until he struggled with mental health issues. He had an ex-wife and grown daughter.
 
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