New trial for doctor attack

The man found guilty in 2017 of violently attacking a doctor at Penticton Regional Hospital has won a new trial. 

The B.C. Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Gregory Stanley Nield, who was found guilty by a Penticton jury of assaulting Dr. Rajeev Sheoran in the Penticton Regional Hospital in 2014.

Nield was sentenced to 30 months probation in September 2017, despite Crown prosecutors asking for a three to four-year jail term.

The appeal granted by a three-Justice panel states the trial judge erred on evidence that could have “gone toward establishing the available defence of automatism,” relating to the mental condition of an accused who is not conscious of their actions.

At trial, Nield said he had been self-medicating with magic mushrooms to ease severe headaches for nearly a month. Nield’s parents testified to his apparent lapsed mental state when they had visited him at the hospital prior to the assault.

The appeals court also found the judge at trial did not admit “relevant portions of the hospital record,” as proof of the facts recorded therein “including observations on the patients behaviour and the administration of drugs, after a witness attested to the record’s authenticity.”

The appeal decision released on Jan. 30 out of Vancouver states Nield’s conviction will be vacated and orders for a new trial.

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