A man who was involved in the criminal underworld described in court this week how he was attacked with a hammer and had his eyes gouged out after he tried to blackmail people who ran a marijuana grow-op in North Vancouver.
Ronald Perry, 68, described in horrific detail how he was violently beaten inside a Norgate area bungalow by two men on Sept. 2, 2009.
Perry had gone to the house to try to make a deal with the boss of a criminal gang who was angry at him for his earlier involvement in a grow-rip of a marijuana operation in Lions Bay in November 2006.
Perry described being attacked by two men in the house, including being hit with a hammer. At one point, he said he was pinned to a couch and one of the men reached around from behind and gouged out Perry's eyes with his fingers.
"I didn't even realize my eye had been torn out at that point. I didn't feel it," he said.
"He said, 'I'm going to pop it like a grape.'"
Robin Landrew Pryce, 42, of Surrey and Paul Joseph Defaveri, 50, of Squamish, are both on trial for the attempted murder and aggravated assault of Perry before provincial court Judge Steven Merrick.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The unusual case provides a glimpse into the violent world of criminal gangs involved in running marijuana grow operations.
Perry, who has a criminal record himself, testified this week about how after he was charged for the Lions Bay grow-rip, he was threatened by two bikers who told him the police were least of his worries.
Perry said he found out the boss of the Lions Bay growop had other grow-ops in Mission, North Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay. Perry said he decided to threaten that if he wasn't left alone, he would call the police and report home invasions at those addresses.
Perry testified he went to a house in the 1600-block Phillip Avenue in August 2009 and talked to a man and a woman there, saying he knew they had a grow-op in the basement and he wanted to talk to their boss. On Sept. 2, 2009, Perry said he returned to the house and offered the couple money to get in contact with their boss.
He was reaching for it when suddenly he got hit on the head.
"I thought I'd been shot," he said. "I felt my legs buckling." Perry said he wasn't sure how many times he was hit or who hit him.
Perry said while he was on his knees, his arms were twisted behind his back and he was forced towards the ground. After his eyes were gouged, he said his wrists and ankles were hogtied behind him with zap straps and a black drawstring bag was placed over his head.
"They said two or three times, "Why don't you just die? . . .'" said Perry.
Then he said he heard a woman's voice saying, "Not here. Don't do it here.'"
Perry said he blacked out and came to lying on the floor of what felt like a van. He was eventually transferred to the back of his own car. He said when he next regained consciousness, he heard a woman's voice, and then he was in an ambulance. Perry said he spent 11 days in hospital and ended up losing his left eye.
He said the vision in his right eye was also affected and his face was torn requiring surgery. He also pointed to large scars still visible on his scalp.
Perry said sometime after he got out of hospital, he went back to the Norgate house early one morning with a hatchet, determined to "straighten some things out."
He said he found the house cleared out, but discovered papers left behind that had the names Marney King and Paul Defaveri on them. He said he looked them up on Facebook, and found they were the same couple he'd talked to in the house.
The trial continues.