B.C. Supreme Court

Mechanic convicted after year-long trial

Aggravated assault against White Rock businessman lasted for several minutes before customer crawled under truck

The man who severely beat White Rock businessman Fred Edrissi with a pipe wrench four years ago was convicted Monday of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

In outlining the reasons for ruling against Darryl Gordon Brown, Judge Robert Crawford said evidence heard over the course of the B.C. Supreme Court trial left him with no doubt the attack was intentional – and beyond what could be deemed self-defence.

“It is apparent that there was a beating of several minutes, eventually reducing Mr. Edrissi to crawling underneath the tenant’s motor vehicle,” Crawford said, referring to a truck belonging to a resident of a suite on the property where the assault took place.

Brown, 47, has been on trial since September 2012 in connection with the Aug. 1, 2009 assault. It occurred on property in the 16500-block of 32 Avenue in South Surrey, and resulted in Edrissi spending five days in hospital with broken bones and lacerations.

Crawford heard from Brown, Edrissi, Brown’s former wife and other witnesses over the course of the proceedings.

Monday, Crawford noted that while he agreed with a charge by defence counsel that Edrissi had exaggerated when giving his evidence, he had more difficulty with the accused’s version of events.

Edrissi testified that Brown – a mechanic who had agreed to do some work on Edrissi’s minivan – had attacked him from behind with a hammer and a pipe wrench as Edrissi attempted to fix a grinder that Brown was having trouble with. Brown demanded Edrissi’s money, then “wouldn’t stop” the attack, the businessman told the court.

Brown claimed Edrissi had swung at him first, striking him with a grinder and a pipe wrench, but that he couldn’t remember anything after “seeing stars” and wrestling with Edrissi on the ground. Brown said he ‘came to’ kilometres away, covered in blood and vomit.

Crawford said he heard no evidence to corroborate Brown’s claim he had been injured, and that he had difficulty with Brown’s explanation of how Edrissi had swung two tools at him while facing away from the accused.

“That is a little difficult to understand, as it is difficult to hit someone that is standing behind you,” Crawford said.

And while Brown had claimed to be bleeding “everywhere,” no one testified to seeing blood on the accused, nor was there evidence of blood in crime-scene photos depicting the interior of a truck Brown had driven on the night in question.

“I agree Mr. Edrissi is prone to exaggerating,” Crawford said. “But on the principal facts, I accept his evidence.”

Following the verdict, defence counsel Jeremy Fung requested a date be set to hear his arguments as to why Brown should not be held criminally responsible for the assault.

That date is to be set Thursday.

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