Guilty in hospital attack

A jury has found Gregory Nield guilty of aggravated assault for the severe beating of a doctor at Penticton Regional Hospital in Dec. 2014.

The jury reached its verdict just hours after beginning deliberations, following a four-day trial that the defence lawyer called one of the “most frustrating he’s ever been involved in.”

Defence lawyer Stan Tessmer attempted to argue during a lengthy pre-trial voir dire that Dr. Rajeev Sheoran, the victim, had held Nield unlawfully against his will for psychiatric evaluation, provoking the attack.

Justice Hope Hyslop ruled that argument inadmissible prior to the start of the trial, but that did not stop Tessmer from trying to include it in his arguments. He was repeatedly batted down by the judge on similar lines of questioning.

During closing statements, Hyslop had to instruct the jury to forget about the evidence Tessmer tried to submit. Tessmer stated he felt like he had been “placed in a straightjacket.”

Nield, clad in a blue suit, and other family members, who sat quietly during the proceedings, declined to comment following the verdict.

However, Tessmer said he was obviously very disappointed and that there will be an appeal.

"The judge made a mistake in not allowing us to put a defence to the jury," he said. "She basically pre-judged."

Nield will be back in court June 5 to confirm the completion of a pre-sentence report.

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