Judge takes time for decision in Michael Robert Bryenton assault trial

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 9, 2016

Scales of justice

A man accused of throwing a punch that cost his alleged victim an eye will wait until later this month for the outcome of his trial.

Michael Robert Bryenton, 36, was back in provincial court in Charlottetown Tuesday for the second day of his aggravated assault trial.

In making his final submissions, defence lawyer Thane MacEachern asked Judge John Douglas to be careful when considering the victim’s testimony.

“His memory throughout the testimony is very vague,” MacEachern said.

That someone assaulted Trevor Acorn in a Euston Street boarding house on Nov. 24, 2015 isn’t in dispute.

Acorn spent several weeks in hospital and was transferred to Halifax for treatment of injuries that included skull fractures.

He lost an eye after the assault and has nine plates in his face and skull.

Acorn accused Bryenton of punching him in the eye and testified Jeremy Joseph Cummiskey hit him in the head with a 2x6.

Bryenton and Cummiskey went to Acorn’s room looking for drugs, but two versions of events were presented in court.

In one, Acorn said Bryenton threw the punch unprovoked.

In the other, Bryenton said he didn’t punch Acorn and Cummiskey attacked without any provocation.

MacEachern said considering the evidence as a whole, Bryenton’s version of events was more logical.

Crown attorney Lisa Goulden said Acorn was adamant Bryenton hit him in the eye and believed that blow cost him his eye.

Even if the court believed Acorn’s account was somehow questionable, it had to consider if Bryenton was a party to the assault, she said.

Goulden said Bryenton wasn’t a passive observer and he was a party to the assault that led to Acorn’s serious injuries.

“He started a sequence of events that led to that happening,” Goulden said.

After hearing the submissions, Douglas said he needed time to reflect on some of the issues raised and adjourned the case until Feb. 26.

Cummiskey is scheduled to be back in court Feb. 17 for a preliminary hearing.