March 8th, 2017
Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, ordering the payment of $217,500 in total damages after the Plaintiff was injured in an assault/battery.
In today’s case (Rycroft v. Rego) the Plaintiff alleged he was injured in an altercation with the Defendant. Although the Court heard differing versions of events the Court concluded the Defendant through an “unexpected” punch to the Plaintiff which began a brief physical scuffle.
In finding the Defendant culpable for the assault and the injuries that arose Mr. Justice Williams made the following findings of fact:
 Based on my examination of all of the evidence, my conclusions with respect to what occurred are as follows.
 In order to investigate the reported damage caused to the bike park, shortly after returning home, the plaintiff entered the yard behind his residence. Immediately before the altercation, while Mr. Rycroft was walking at a moderate pace in the general direction of his own home, Mr. Rego, walking quite briskly, approached him.
 I accept that the plaintiff said words to the effect of “you must be the dad; I do not want kids playing there anymore.”
 I find that, at that point, the defendant struck the side of the plaintiff’s head. The version of events which most sensibly and logically explains the resulting bruise is that, when he was struck, Mr. Rycroft had his head turned to the right. The punch was of significant force and unexpected.
 As a consequence of the blow, the plaintiff went down in a forward direction, ending up on his knees. He had his hands on the ground. The defendant immediately applied some type of headlock to Mr. Rycroft from behind.
 The two men struggled, with Mr. Rego behind and above Mr. Rycroft. No significant blows were landed.
 The physical engagement ended fairly quickly. The defendant let go of the plaintiff and moved away, and the plaintiff got to his feet.
 The defendant said something to the effect of “do you want round two?” or “do you want some more?” The plaintiff responded in the affirmative, I expect probably more reflexively than seriously, but did nothing physically to further engage with the defendant. Instead, the plaintiff reached into his pocket, took out his phone, and called 911.
 At that point, the defendant and his wife left and went home.
 In the course of the altercation, the plaintiff sustained an injury to his left temple area, an injury which is depicted in the photo marked Exhibit 6. I find that bruise was caused by a blow from the defendant.
 It is also reasonable to conclude that Mr. Rycroft sustained minor injuries to his arm, his elbow area, and his hand, likely from going to the ground.
 Finally, I accept that the plaintiff incurred some injury to his knees, also resulting from going to the ground.