Grandson claims self-defence in brutal assault

Greg Ailles on trail for alleged December 2009 attack on his grandparents in Penticton

The man accused of a violent assault against his grandfather in Penticton said he was the one who was jumped in a “surprise” attack and was just defending himself.

“I was able to push the palm of my hand to his face and hug his arm as I tried to back out. I said something like, ‘Are you trying to surprise me with that?’ There was no discussion, it was on,” said accused Greg Ailles, who added his grandfather hit him about nine times with a pipe that was eventually thrown across the room. “It was a full-out frenzy fight. I was getting punches to the mouth and head.”

Ailles, 38, faces charges of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, two counts of unlawful confinement, assault causing bodily harm, robbery, theft over $5,000 and possession of a firearm contrary to order. His grandfather, Grant (Sandy) Ailles, earlier testified he was left blind, confined to a wheelchair and in the hospital for six months recovering because of the attack.

Greg told Justice Alison Beames on Tuesday at Penticton Supreme Court that he had been in two arguments with his grandfather, who was 75 years old at the time, leading up to the night of the alleged incident. Defence council Paul McMurray pointed out that Grant had previously testified he was known as a “scrapper” when he played hockey and not one to let something brush by him.

According to the accused, the arguments centred around the fact that Greg had a criminal record. Greg had served two years in jail for an incident in Surrey in 2006 where he was found guilty of a number of charges including criminal negligence causing bodily harm and use of a firearm.

“It was escalating. I was being chewed out like I was trying to pretend I still had some sort of livelihood after prison,” said Greg.

Greg said his grandfather seemed to be “baiting” him into arguments which he wanted no part of, and on two occasions he had walked away from Grant when things started to get heated.

This led to the confrontation on Dec. 29, 2009. Greg said he was reading a book and felt a little light-headed after consuming two beers and some wine as well as his medication for attention deficit disorder. He said his grandfather was coming up and down the stairs from a room where he was watching hockey and staring at Greg with a “strange look in his eye” and “posturing” at him in the guest room. Greg said he went downstairs to have a smoke and see if he could gauge what was happening with his grandfather and heard his name being called inside a room. He said he swung the door open and was “plowed” in the head with several punches and chops from his grandfather.

Greg said his grandmother, Lois Ailles, came downstairs and he told both of them he was leaving to a convenience store to call the police. He said he received more blows from Grant and retaliated by pushing his grandfather back, giving him five palm strikes to the face, kneeing him in the stomach and hitting him in the groin. Still, he said, the grandfather came at him, hitting him with a metal broom handle and later an organ stool was “smashed” over his head. He denied ever striking Grant with an object. While grappling with his grandfather, he said his grandmother came from behind him, and as he turned his arm “brushed across her face and knocked her glasses off.”

“Because of how violent he was acting, and I wanted to leave, I asked Lois if she could get something to constrain his arms with. She asked if I was sure of that. I thought he was having a stroke or something because he was acting really, really agitated,” said Greg.

He said his grandmother found two cords and passed them over and he tied his grandfather’s forearms to his stomach,. By now, Greg said it was around 2 a.m. and his grandmother told him he needed to not just get out of the house, but out of town. He said he grabbed $40 out of a wallet, got his bags, took off his bloodied socks and shirt and his grandmother handed him the car keys.

The trial is expected to continue on Wednesday.