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B.C. man punched in face, pushed down stairs and beaten

The victim said the attack left him fearful of others.
Vancouver Provincial Court. Normand Joseph Jean Girard also faces a charge of assault with a weapon.

A Vancouver Provincial Court judge has sentenced a man to 31 days in jail after he punched another man in the face, pushed him down some stairs and then beat him.

On May 22, Normand Joseph Jean Girard, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of assault connected to a Dec. 21, 2023 incident. The Vancouver incident happened at a Main Street building where both were living. 

Crown prosecutor Tanya Roy told Judge Gregory Rideout that Girard had gone to the other man’s door and the second it opened, Girard punched him in the face.

The court heard they then struggled and the victim was pushed down the stairs.

“Mr. Girard continued to punch him multiple times in the face,” Roy said.

Defence lawyer Sandra Mandanici said Girard informed her the other man was intoxicated and was throwing cans at his door.

"'I lost it and punched him multiple times,'" Mandanici said her client told her.

A victim impact statement was read in court. The man said the incident has left him suspicious of others and distrustful of people in his building. The victim also said Girard was allowed to return to the building after the incident, leaving him scared.

“I spent several days sleeping rough by the river,” the man said.

The prosecutor told the judge that Girard has a history of violent offences, including robbery, assaulting a police officer and uttering threats. She said he has an assault case from 2018 involving a construction worker where hate crime-type comments were allegedly made.

Roy suggested a jail sentence of 60 to 90 days.

Rideout gave Girard credit for 30 days in jail and one day served by his court appearance.

The sentence also includes one year’s probation.

Girard also faces a charge of assault with a weapon.

Rideout also heard a bail application and released Girard on conditions.

The contents of bail hearings are covered by a mandatory publication ban.

Girard has elected to have a trial in French on that charge.