PRH assault in jury's hands

The jury in the trial of Gregory Nield, accused of severely beating a Penticton doctor, will begin deliberations on Friday after receiving instructions from Justice Hope Hyslop.

Nield is facing one count of aggravated assault, in connection to assault on Dr. Rajeev Sheoran which took place in Dec. 2014 at the Penticton Regional Hospital psych ward.

The trial opened Monday, running through the week, with the jury hearing from several witnesses including nurses, Neild's parents and Sheoran himself.

On Thursday, crown and defence gave their closing statements, with defence lawyer Stan Tessmer trying again to introduce evidence that had been ruled inadmissible in a pre-trial voir dire, which is subject to a publication ban until the end of the trial.

Tessmer told the jury that in 30 years as a lawyer, this was the most frustrating trial he has been involved in, adding he felt like he had been “placed in a straightjacket.”

His attempts prompted Crown prosecutor Sarah Firestone to object and tell the jury that what he had raised was inadmissible.

Tessmer responded, exasperated,  that had the right to freedom of expression, and that this case was not about justice for the doctor, but justice for Nield, asking the jury to find his client not guilty.

Once the defence finished, the judge told the jury to forget about the inadmissible evidence Tessmer tried to present.

In her address, Firestone went over witness testimony from the nurses who described what happened both before and after the two went into the interview room where the alleged assault occurred.

She explained that Sheoran still hasn't fully recovered due to the extent of his injuries.

Firestone argued that it was no accident, when Nield struck the doctor in the face.

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