A Hatfield Point man accused of assaulting his neighbour, a transgender woman, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in provincial court.

Although Eldon Joseph Hogan, 55, was in the building he did not appear in court. Defence counsel Josh Adams entered the plea on his behalf.

Hogan is charged with assault in connection with an alleged incident May 14 involving his neighbour, Paula Danaher, 43.

The two live near each other on a rural route near Belleisle Bay.

Danaher said she and Hogan were once friends, but he discontinued their friendship after she came out as transgender a year ago.

She alleged that in May she was taking garbage to the end of their shared driveway when Hogan came running toward her, swearing and yelling homophobic slurs.

She said Hogan punched her twice, causing injuries, and kicked her truck.

Paul Danaher

Paula Danaher. 43, said she believes the alleged assault on her property in Hatfield Point occurred because she is a transgender woman.

"I know transgender people face a lot of adversity in society and I know that physical violence is a serious threat, but I never thought it would happen to me," she said.

Lawyer David Lutz, whose firm is representing the accused, said he was not prepared at this time to comment on the case.

Hogan's trial is scheduled for Feb. 22.