Bail varied for man accused of attacking Penticton doctor

The Summerland man accused of attacking a Penticton doctor had his bail conditions changed Monday.

Officers of the BC Sheriff Services lead Gregory Stanley Nield

Officers of the BC Sheriff Services lead Gregory Stanley Nield

The Summerland man accused of a vicious attack on a doctor in the psych ward of the Penticton Regional Hospital had his bail conditions varied Monday to allow him to pursue employment.

Gregory Stanley Nield, 31, pleaded not guilty to the aggravated assault of Dr. Rajeev Sheoran on Dec. 5, 2014.

Read more: Trial pushed, new lawyer for alleged doctor attacker

Justice Dev Dley granted the variation of Nield’s bail conditions to allow him to leave his parent’s Summerland property unsupervised in the pursuit of employment.

“A restrictive release into the community does protect society, it does protect a victim and does not interfere with the administration of justice,” Dley said.

Nield was previously on conditions not to leave the property without a supervisor and remains under curfew conditions, however exceptions can now be made for employment purposes.

Nield has been on bail for 20 months.

Read more: Alleged doctor attacker released on bail

The initial, jointly-submitted bail conditions came from “extensive negotiations,” between Crown counsel John Swanson and Nield’s former counsel, Vancouver lawyer Jeff Campbell.

Swanson opposed the application to vary bail conditions put forward by Nield’s current defence counsel Stan Tessmer.

Nield pursued new counsel in late October, and the date of his Supreme Court trial has now been moved from December to March 20, 2017.

Nield remains prohibited from possessing weapons, drugs and alcohol.

Tessmer told reporters outside the courtroom of an upcoming Charter application relating to the Canadian right to be tried by a jury of peers.

Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms a person has the right to a jury trial for crimes punishable by five years of imprisonment or more.

Tessmer filed the notice to re-elect to a trial by judge and jury in October and expects a hearing on the application sometime in December.

However, Swanson voiced his opposition to that application in October, noting the option to re-elect comes at the Crown’s discretion 15 days after the initial election.

Read more: Man accused of attacking doctor will stand before Supreme Court judge

“We are not consenting to a jury trial at this stage. The accused’s opportunity to re-elect trial by jury has long since expired,” Swanson told the court in October.