Judge angered by fresh assault charges against accused in remand beating
Moments after a judge set a date Wednesday to sentence three men for the vicious beating of a fellow inmate at Calgary Remand Centre nearly two years ago, he was incensed to discover that the aggressor of the trio faces new charges of assault against two other inmates at the same jail last December.
Judge Terry Semenuk, holding the charge sheet against P.C. for allegedly assaulting Nathan Zuccherato and Brent Boake on Dec. 13, questioned defence lawyer Andrea Urquhart and Crown prosecutor Deven Singhal why he hadn't been informed earlier.
Urquhart said she had just been made aware earlier Wednesday morning of the charges. She said her client may have been acting in self-defence.
"These two offences occurred while the accused was in custody on the offence before this date and also involve two other inmates at the Calgary Remand Centre. Isn't this clear evidence of bad conduct on behalf of the accused?" Semenuk said.
Urquhart said "it's certainly not, sir, if P.C. was acting in self-defence."
The judge countered that P.C. may have a defence to these charges, "but at the moment, there are reasonable grounds to believe he committed these offences while he was in custody at Calgary Remand Centre awaiting sentencing on these charges."
Zuccherato, who faces six counts of gang-related first-degree murder at Bolsa Restaurant on Jan. 1, 2009, was also charged with assault against Nicholas Chan in connection with the Dec. 13 incident.
In court Wednesday, P.C. apologized for his role in the earlier beating of Brandon Carruthers, 25.
"I'm sorry for what happened. At the time, there were a lot of things going on in my life," said P.C. "I was just acting on behalf of my anger. not aware of my surroundings . . . I'd like to personally apologize to (Carruthers)."
P.C., along with Gregory Paul Amorim, 30, and Keith Nelson Paul, 29, who had all originally faced the more serious charge of aggravated assault, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm.
Semenuk said he would present a written decision June 30.
Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald
June 4 2014