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Man found guilty of assault on Penticton grandparents

Gregory Ailles (left) was found guilty of an aggravated assault on his grandfather, two counts of unlawful confinement of his grandparents as well as several other charges in Penticton Supreme court on Wednesday.  - Mark Brett/Western News
Gregory Ailles (left) was found guilty of an aggravated assault on his grandfather, two counts of unlawful confinement of his grandparents as well as several other charges in Penticton Supreme court on Wednesday.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

Justice Allison Beames did not believe the tale of self-defence told by the man accused of violently beating his grandfather in Penticton.

Because of the "grievous bodily harm" inflicted to the grandfather, Beames said self-defence was no defence for Greg Ailles.

"I reject his explanation of what happened," said Beames. "I don't accept that the accused was attacked out of the blue by the grandfather, or at all."

Ailles was found guilty of aggravated assault, two counts of unlawful confinement or imprisonment, a lesser charge of assault, possession of a firearm contrary to order and a lesser charge of theft under $5,000.

Ailles testified on Tuesday that his grandfather, Grant (Sandy) Ailles, was the one that sparked a frenzied assault on Dec. 29, 2008 and he was simply trying to defend himself. The grandfather, now blinded and confined to a wheelchair after the assault, had little memory of the incident and could not offer much in terms of evidence when he took the stand last week. His injuries were so severe he vomited blood that had drained from the fractures in his face, had nine fractured ribs, his eyeball was ruptured and spent almost 60 days in hospital recovering — 10 of those in intensive care.

This left only one other person who witnessed the attack, the grandmother Lois Ailles. She died in 2009 of cancer before she could testify in court. Justice Beames allowed audio and video recorded statements taken by police from the grandmother to be admissible. Beames found an audio statement gathered by RCMP shortly after they arrived on scene at the grandparents' residence on Balfour Avenue to be the best account. Lois said she had heard what sounded like to be an argument or a fight coming from downstairs and went to check on her husband who was calling out for her.

"Clearly what she actually saw was a one-person assault, not a fight," said Beames in her judgment.

Greg Ailles testified he only was trying to get away from his grandfather's attack and used as little force as he could. He denied ever hitting the then 75-year-old old man with any object. He claimed to be hit with a pipe, a metal broom handle and a stool. According to Greg, his grandfather landed several punches and blows to Greg's face, which left him with a possible broken nose and a fractured hand. Beames said police photos show very little, if any injuries to Greg and a radiologist found nothing wrong with his hand.

Paramedics who attended to the grandfather noted severe redness and marks to his torso and legs, injuries they said could only have come from some sort of object like a pipe or bat. That alone did not provide enough evidence for Beames for the assault with a weapon charge, as no DNA could be pulled from the pipe found in the basement. The stool and broom handle had not been checked. This resulted in the lesser charge of assault being administered.

The grandmother said the couple were tied up with electrical cords their grandson found in the basement before he fled, taking their car, three guns and some cash. Greg said he did tie his grandfather up, but only to prevent him from continuing his attack. He also said it was done with the assistance of his grandmother.

"It is unbelievable that Lois Ailles would have helped tie up her own husband," said Beames.

A single count of assault with a weapon was stayed and Beames was not satisfied with the evidence of robbery, finding the 38-year-old not guilty on that count. He has been in custody since he was arrested a day after the attack. Crown counsel Bill Hilderman submitted an application that a dangerous offender assessment be conducted over the next 45 days. A court date has been set of Jan. 3, 2013 to find out if the assessment is complete and to fix a date for sentencing.

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