A Summerland man charged with aggravated assault while on bail for another alleged assault was granted bail Tuesday.
Joshua James Doell, 40, was granted a $2,500 bail on one surety Tuesday in Penticton Provincial Court while he faces one count of assault causing bodily harm and one count of aggravated assault.
Crown counsel alleged on April 13 Summerland RCMP received a call that a man had been assaulted by his neighbour, Doell. Police arrived and located the neighbour who was observed by police to be intoxicated and had a one-inch cut on his forehead, dried blood on his nose, mouth and face and complained about sore ribs. He and Doell were playing board games and having a few drinks at which point he told police the two got in an argument over a chair in Doell’s unit that belonged to his neighbour.
Doell was found at his part of the split residence. Crown alleged that upon Doell’s arrest he denied any wrongdoing and was “uncooperative” with police.
Crown counsel Kurt Froehlich alleged Doell had a “strong odour of liquor on his breath” and “when he was read his Charter rights, Mr. Doell plugged his ears and began singing.”
His neighbour made a statement to police days later outlining his injuries, including a broken rib, a fractured rib and a fractured wrist, stating that the two struggled to grab a hammer on the floor during the altercation and that he is “fearful of Mr. Doell,” Froehlich said.
Doell was granted bail in April for that offence. While on bail, on Nov. 18, Crown counsel submitted that just after 9 p.m. police received multiple 911 calls from motorists on Highway 97 in Summerland reporting a male in the middle of the highway who appeared to be suffering from injuries with bloody clothing.
Police attended and observed that the male had multiple injuries including swelling to the right side of his face to the point that his eye was swollen shut and he had blood on his clothes and an odour of liquor on his breath.
“(The man) told police he had run into traffic, jumping in front of cars because he believed Mr. Doell was trying to kill him,” Froehlich said.
Crown alleges that another argument broke out, this time with a different male, at Doell’s Summerland residence. When the ambulance arrived, it was observed that the man had stab wounds in his back near his spine and right shoulder blade.
Doell called 911 that evening, 25 minutes after the calls from the motorists, Crown alleged.
“He told the 911 operator that he’d been in a confrontation with (the man) and that he was concerned about (the man’s) well being. He told the 911 operator that he assaulted (the man) and stabbed him in the back,” Froehlich said.
The man made another statement to police at the hospital saying that “he could understand why Mr. Doell attacked him the way he did. It felt like Mr. Doell was going to kill him,” Froehlich read from the statement.
The court heard that police found a coat pinned under the driver’s side tire of a truck parked on the property, as well as a small pocket knife. An officer observed blood stains on the driver and passenger seats of the vehicle.
Doell appeared to have been struck in the face, police said.
“He claimed he was trying to protect himself. He later said in the warrant statement ‘I shouldn’t have used a knife in that situation’,” Froehlich said.
Crown sought to deny bail “considering Mr. Doell was on bail for a crime of violence when this, in my submission a very serious violent offence, arose while he was on bail,” Froehlich said
Doell faces a possible 14-year maximum sentence for charges of aggravated assault.
“In Crown’s submission if you were to release Mr. Doell, given his propensity for violence, there could be significant risk to community that he would re-offend in a serious and violent way,” Froehlich said.
Norman Yates, Doell’s defence counsel, argued that his client does not have a criminal record, and noted that he had been living with the complainant in the first alleged assault, his neighbour, since being granted bail on the initial charge earlier this year.
“They have been quite functional as neighbours since April,” Yates said.
Yates said the incidents are fuelled by Doell’s alcohol and marijuana use.
“Both of the people named as complainants in these information Josh would have considered to be his best of friends at the time the altercations took place,” Yates said.
Yates said that his client was defending his property, the chair, in the first incident.
“These guys are 40 years old, they are not 18, it’s stupid,” Judge Gail Sinclair said.
“It is your honour,” Doell said.
Yates said that his client put a knife to his friend’s back, not the one found under the truck tire, and told him not to move and the fight was over.
“Josh says he doesn’t know how his friend got the cuts,” Yates said, noting that from his reading of the circumstances the knife wounds were “more like cuts than stabs.”
“There was one stab for sure, that’s the one I did,” Doell interjected. “There was no other stabs. The stab was not an aggressive stab.”
He said the knife he used was not the knife found under the truck.
“I don’t know how this jacket got anywhere near the truck. The fight occurred inside the truck, not outside the truck. There’s a few misleading things that the story has changed a little bit there,” Doell said.
Doell was ordered not to possess alcohol, weapons and not to attend within 50 metres of either of the complainants in the assault charges, meaning he will have to live somewhere other than his residence. Likely with his father, the court heard.
A trial will take place for the initial assault charge on Dec. 29.