Pub patron repeatedly approached attacker, accused's friend tells court
By Lena Sin, The Province July 22, 2010 Shawn Woodward arrives at B.C. Provincial Court Wednesday to face aggravated-assault charges after allegedly sucker-punching Ritch Dowrey, 62, at a Vancouver pub in March 2009.
Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG
In the moments before a catastrophic blow was dealt to Ritch Dowrey, the 62-year-old approached his attacker four times — and “would not leave him alone,” Vancouver Provincial Court heard on Thursday.
The testimony about events leading up to the assault was given by Gregory Price, a friend Shawn Woodward, the 37-year-old Vancouver resident accused of aggravated assault.
Woodward is accused of hitting Dowrey on March 13, 2009, at the Fountainhead Pub on Davie Street, a neighbourhood bar that caters to both the straight and gay, lesbian and transgendered communities.
Court heard in earlier testimony that Woodward told witnesses he punched Dowrey because “he’s a faggot, he deserved it.”
On the opening day of the trial Wednesday, Crown Counsel Jacinta Lawton laid out the devastating consequences of that evening’s assault, which left Dowrey with a massive brain injury that left him in need lifelong assistance.
Lawton said there is no dispute over the date, time or location of the assault, identity of the accused or the fact that the accused applied force to Dowrey.
What is at issue are the events leading up to the assault, and whether Woodward acted in self-defence.
Price, a friend of Woodward’s for about 22 years, testified that he witnessed Woodward suckerpunch Dowrey at the bar.
Price told court that Dowrey approached Woodward four times, and during one of them, Dowrey allegedly put his hand on Woodward’s shoulder.
He also testified that he heard Woodward say “I’m not like that” at least four times, and say “Don’t touch me” once.
In the first encounter, Dowrey offered to buy Woodward a drink, the court heard.
Price said Woodward replied by saying “I’m not like that” in a civil tone.
Dowrey left, then returned five minutes later to approach Woodward a second time and put his hand on the accused’s shoulder, Price testified.
“I do remember him placing his hand on Shawn’s shoulder and Shawn asking him not to,” Price told the court.
Price said he heard Woodward sternly say to Dowrey, “Please don’t touch me.”
Price testified that Dowrey appeared “a little intoxicated,” as he was stumbling and slurring his words — a stark contrast to accounts given Wednesday by other witnesses at the bar, who described Dowrey as sober.
Price said there were two more instances in which the two men had exchanges, and both times Price said he heard Woodward say “I’m not like that.”
After the fourth encounter, Price said Woodward “had enough and said ‘Let’s get out of here.’”
Price said he got ready to go, put on his hoodie jacket, finished his beer, then saw Woodward raise his hand and punch Dowrey in the jaw.
He said he was “shocked” and “surprised” by the punch.
Price said he saw Woodward leave after the blow, and followed him outside on Davie Street. Police arrrived some time later and arrested Woodward, he said.
The trial continues.
Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Court+h ... z0uTvEjh5t
I'd love you to say it to my face because you'd only say it once...if you ever had the courage to say it at all!! Blitz, 05/24/2008