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Man convicted of assault
Attacked teen with goalie stick in Videoland parking lot

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 1, 2013660

A 23-year-old man was convicted of assaulting a teen with a goalie stick during a confrontation in the Videoland parking lot in 2011.

The incident occurred on May 14 after the accused, Julian Walsh, and two friends left a party at Vee Lake and went to McDonald's. At the restaurant, the driver had a confrontational exchange with a teen outside the restaurant.

When the exchange was over, Walsh, the driver and a friend, who was passed out in the back of the truck, drove to Videoland to park and eat.

They were about to leave when six to eight youth started coming toward them. The driver got out of the truck and started yelling for the teens to come at him.

Walsh testified that he told his friend to get back in the truck but he didn't listen. He said he also expressed to the crowd that he didn't want any trouble. But when the victim, who was 19 years old at the time, started engaging with him he grabbed a goalie stick from the vehicle.

Walsh testified that he later swung the stick at the victim, hitting him in the left side of the head, which resulted in a brain injury.

The action was done in self-defence, he continued, explaining that the teen was going to hit him with a skateboard.

The victim suffered chronic headaches for about two weeks following the altercation, and continues to suffer from them occasionally.

The victim testified he wasn't going to hit the accused and didn't go to the parking lot to pick a fight.

He said he was there only to back up his friend who was involved in the initial exchange with the driver.

Judge Garth Malakoe rejected Walsh's testimony, saying it was inconsistent, embellished and that he appeared to be tailoring his story to match with the testimony from the driver of the truck, his friend.

The accused flip-flopped on the number of teens in the parking lot, if he was afraid of them and how the victim was holding the skateboard, Malakoe said.

However, Malakoe said he believed the victim's side of the story. His testimony, Malakoe said, had minor inconsistencies but that's expected given the passage of time between the incident and the trial. Also, he wasn't shaken on his evidence during cross examination and his story was backed up by testimonies given by some of the other youth present that night.

Malakoe did not accept the Walsh's claim that his actions were done in self-defence and convicted him of assault with a weapon on April 18. Sentencing was delayed until June 13 so that a pre-sentence report could be prepared.

The man has one previous conviction for mischief causing under $5,000 in damages.

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