A man who got into a fight with a smaller and much older man outside North Vancouver's homeless shelter three years ago has been found guilty of assault, but not guilty of the more serious offence of aggravated assault.
Joseph Papp, 31, was charged after the incident outside Lookout Emergency Shelter on Dec. 20, 2010.
The verdict by Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon was handed down Jan. 4 following a trial without a jury in B.C. Supreme Court.
During the trial, Crown prosecutor Kristin Bryson said it was around 5: 30 p.m. when Papp and Michael Senick, 60, apparently got into a fight outside the shelter's front doors. The fight began verbally, then escalated when Papp lunged toward Senick and was stabbed or poked with a pencil wielded by Senick.
Papp then either punched Senick or threw him to the ground and kicked him. Senick then went into cardiac arrest.
Bryson said Senick had no pulse for between 20 and 30 minutes. He only survived through the life-saving efforts of a North Vancouver RCMP officer, who performed CPR until an ambulance arrived to rush Senick to hospital.
Senick survived, but with permanent brain damage. He has no memory of the attack.
A key issue in the trial was whether Papp's actions had caused Senick's heart attack. The judge determined other factors, combined with a pre-existing medical condition, could have caused the cardiac arrest.
Papp is scheduled to be sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court March 15.
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