Edmonton man charged in reference to animal abuse investigation

CALGARY – The Alberta Court of Appeals ordered a Calgary man to be convicted of breaking into and assaulting a professor’s home while he was naked and covered in magic mushrooms.

Last year a judge found Matthew Brown not guilty of burglary on two counts – one with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and the other for the purpose of mischief.

The court heard that the former captain of the men’s hockey team at Mount Royal University in Calgary ate magic mushrooms at a house party in January 2018.

Then he broke into Professor Janet Hamnett’s apartment and hit her with a broomstick.

The original judge had ruled that evidence supported the defense’s argument that Brown had experienced automatism and was out of control over his actions.

The Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins, concluding that Brown was guilty of grievous bodily harm and must return for trial.

One of the court’s three judges, Judge Ritu Khullar, noted that in 1995 Parliament had debated defending self-induced intoxication in violent crimes.

She said Parliament agreed that the voluntary use of drugs was reckless behavior and that people should be held accountable for the unintended consequences of their actions.

“In this case, an important step is to hold the complainant responsible for his violent attack on Ms. Hamnett in order to recognize Ms. Hamnett’s self-worth and dignity,” wrote Khullar.

“There is evidence that holding individuals like the defendants accountable for their decisions about the use of substances known to affect human behavior,” added Judge Frans Slatter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 29, 2021.

The Canadian press

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