Judge must decide which version of assault case is more believable — complainant’s or accused’s
One man says he was head-butted in a bar washroom for no reason.
© — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
Kevin Michael Stamp will find out his legal fate Jan. 31, when the judge decides whether or not Stamp is guilty of assault causing bodily harm.
The other says he did it because the man touched his penis.
A judge will decide over the next few weeks which version of events she believes.
Judge Pamela Goulding will give her verdict in the case of Kevin Michael Stamp on Jan. 31 at provincial court in St. John’s.
Stamp, 25, is charged with assault causing bodily harm as a result of an incident that happened Nov. 17, 2012, at a downtown St. John’s bar.
Testifying in the trial last week, the complainant said he was in the washroom when Stamp walked in, suddenly grabbed him by the shoulders and head-butted him.
He suffered a broken nose and a head laceration that required eight stitches to close.
He said he had never met Stamp before and couldn’t understand why he did it.
Stamp said he had every reason to do what he did.
When he took the stand, Stamp, who is not in custody, testified that the man sexually assaulted him and that he head-butted him in retaliation and self-defence.
In closing arguments Wednesday, defence lawyer Randy Piercey said the amount of force Stamp used was necessary under the circumstances and that the head-butt was an understandable reaction to being sexually assaulted.
“Mr. Stamp was not expected to measure the nicety of the force he was using in response,” Piercey said.
He said there is enough reasonable doubt to render a not-guilty verdict.
“They’re both wild stories,” Piercey said. “But I would suggest out of the two stories, Mr. Stamp’s is no more wilder than the complainant’s.”
Crown prosecutor Danny Vavasour disagreed.
He suggested Stamp lied and said his version did not have an air of reality.
“There was no sexual assault,” Vavasour said. “The (head-butt) was unprovoked.”
He said Stamp wasn’t a credible witness and gave evidence that made the court doubt his truthfulness.
For example, he said, Stamp testified that he didn’t know if the complainant had been bleeding after the head-butt, when the video surveillance from inside the bar clearly showed the man was bleeding profusely.
Vavasour also pointed out that Stamp made no effort to report the so-called sexual assault. He testified he was too embarrassed to tell police about it, yet he told several co-workers, Vavasour pointed out.
The prosecutor said that if the judge did believe Stamp was defending himself against a sexual assault, the degree of force was excessive.
“It was disproportionate than what was required in the circumstances,” he said.
Vavasour said rather than head-butting the man, Stamp had alternatives — like pushing him away, yelling at him, moving away or going out of the bathroom to tell the bouncers.
“There were other options,” Vavasour said.