'Too drunk' defence works, sort of, for St. John's man
Judge sees reasonable doubt in one charge among several brought after Christmas rampage
Posted: Oct 10, 2012 7:26 AM NT
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2012 4:29 PM NT
A St. John's judge ruled Wednesday that a man was so severely intoxicated last Christmas season that there is sufficient doubt about whether he knew what he was doing when he committed a serious crime.
But Anthony Tilley's claim — that he was too drunk to be found guilty of the charges laid against him following a drunken rampage — failed on every other count.Anthony Tilley put several knives into the wall of his girlfriend's house on Dec. 30 last year. (CBC)
Tilley smashed his girlfriend's TV, stuck knives in her walls and threw her Christmas tree out the door.
During the rampage, Tilley went to a neighbour's house and kicked in the back door.
For that specific action, Tilley had been charged with break and enter with the intent to commit an indictable offence. The Crown alleged that Tilley intended to assault his neighbour.
But Judge James Walsh ruled that Tilley was so drunk at that moment, there was reasonable doubt about his ability to form the necessary intent to commit the crime.
On that charge alone, Walsh found Tilley not guilty.
However, Walsh did not accept defence lawyer Jason Edwards' argument that his client was too drunk to be found guilty of other charges that the Crown brought against Tilley.
He was found guilty of two counts of assault with a weapon, both involving knives. Tilley had put knives into his girlfriend's wall, and had made stabbing motions against a neighbour while holding a knife.
Tilley was also found guilty of damaging property, resisting arrest and a breach of probation.
Accused smashed himself repeatedly
Edwards told the court Tuesday that his client had poured so much liquor into himself that he did not know what he was doing, and that he could not form the intent to commit his crimes.
Edwards told the court that Tilley had smashed himself repeatedly in the head with a bottle to the point where he drew blood.
Edwards pointed out that Tilley's girlfriend testified that he looked vacant, and that he was described to the court as walking like a zombie.
Court was told that Tilley was unresponsive to a large Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer who drew his gun at the scene.
However, Crown prosecutor Dana Sullivan noted that Tilley was able to respond to questions that night.
As well, Sullivan said, when he went next door to a neighbour's, and called the neighbour out to fight, Tilley had put gloves on, and that Tilley was aware enough to plan some of his actions.
Tilley is scheduled to be sentenced in early November.
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