Two men charged in connection with a violent beating in White Rock earlier this year pleaded guilty to the attack in Surrey Provincial Court Monday.
The pleas were entered by the lawyers for Robert Dean Orr and Tyrone Stuart McDougall at the start of what was scheduled to be a five-day trial.
The pair were arrested following a May 24 police raid on a home in the 15300-block of Pacific Avenue, and both were charged with two counts each of forcible confinement, assault, aggravated assault and theft in connection with the incident.
Orr – who has been in custody since the arrest – was charged with additional counts of assault with a weapon and uttering threats.
Monday, both men pleaded to lesser charges of assault and assault causing bodily harm.
McDougall is to be sentenced on Feb. 5.
Following a short hearing, Judge Melissa Gillespie handed Orr nine months in custody, noting the term includes the three months he has already spent behind bars. That term began at the end of August, after Orr completed his sentence for another assault, for which he had been on parole at the time of the White Rock incident, the court heard. His parole was revoked following the May arrest.
In arguing for a term of between nine months and one year in jail, Crown Angela Lee cited the parole element as an aggravating factor.
“The circumstances of that offence are more violent,” she said.
Also aggravating is the fact that Orr, 29, waited until the first day of trial to plead guilty, she said.
“It wasn’t until we weren’t able to serve (one of the victims) and the Crown decided not to proceed on all of the charges that Mr. Orr decided” to plead, she said.
Lee told Gillespie that the beating occurred on May 22, when Orr and McDougall went to collect on money owed from the sale of an amp. When neither cash nor the equipment was produced, Orr is said to have held one man in a chair while McDougall punched him repeatedly in the face. When a second man arrived home, the pair both struck out, “punching him in the face simultaneously, repeatedly.”
“They continued until he lost consciousness,” Lee said.
That same man was beaten again when he regained consciousness, she added, and spent 1½ days in hospital as a result.
The victims were afraid to immediately report the assault to police “because they were all involved in using drugs,” she said.
Defence counsel Jeremy Fung submitted that a term of six to nine months in custody would be appropriate for Orr, noting Orr was prepared to plead guilty “from the beginning” but had disputed a number of the charges.
Fung noted that Orr is a drug addict and has been since he was 14 years old. He is currently in programs for both drug and alcohol addictions, he said.
Once released from custody, Orr plans to move to Alberta where he has job prospects, Fung told Gillespie.
In addition to another six months in jail followed by a year’s probation, Gillespie ordered Orr to give a DNA sample, and to stay away from both of the victims, as well as McDougall. He is also prohibited from owning or possessing weapons for 10 years.