Grandson stands trial for brutal assault

A Penticton grandfather went from being an active senior with a passion for hockey to a wheelchair bound man in constant need of care, his family doctor testified Monday.

Dr. Douglas Leitner  was the final crown witness in the trial for Gregory Ailles, who stands accused of brutally assaulting his grandfather Grant Ailles inside his Penticton home.

Ailles, 38,  is facing charges including aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and unlawful confinement or imprisonment related to the alleged attack on Dec. 29, 2008, when he was visiting his grandparents for Christmas.

Leitner said he has known Grant Ailles since October, 1997 when he became his patient.  Over the years he was diagnosed with diabetes and had some knee problems, but for the most part was independent, and in good health with normal vision and mental functioning.

That all changed following the alleged assault. The doctor described his patient as having multiple injuries from the top of his body down, ranging from facial fractures to broken nasal bones and  several broken ribs.

The injuries, he explained, were most likely caused by several hits to those areas with a blunt object of some kind.

After receiving initial care at Penticton Regional Hospital, the 76-year-old grandfather was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital where he spent 30 days. In December and January, he had two surgeries on his left eye which was badly damaged. The witness described the prognosis from the surgeries as grim.

Surgery on the right eye was also unsuccessful, and as of  his last assessment in February of 2010, it was decided Grant Ailles was essentially blind.

He has also had ongoing problems, including confusion and hallucinations so severe that he has needed sedation to stay calm.

A doctor associated with post traumatic stress disorder says Grant Allies now needs 24-hour care, because of a host of problems

Dr. Bradford Raison, who also testified Monday, said he saw Grant Ailles when he was admitted to the hospital in the early morning hours of Dec. 29.

At the time his face was completed covered in blood, his eyes were swollen shut and there was a lot of bruising and tenderness on his chest.

Because the trauma was so severe, it was likely the man was struck by some instrument other than a hand, Raison said.

Several witnesses including Grant Ailles, who arrived at court in a wheelchair, testified over the course of the trial.

Like his family doctor, they described him as a changed man.

Audio and video recording made by Lois Ailles, Grant's wife, who was also injured the night of the attack, were also heard. She died of cancer after the alleged beating.

Justice Alison Beames is expected to make a decision on Tuesday, whether or not the recordings are admissible.

Ailles was arrested in Vancouver the day after the incident. Police officers said at the time that a vehicle and firearms he took from the couple's Balfour Street home were found in Lake Country. He then made his way to Vancouver from there.

The trial is expected to continue on Tuesday.

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