Beating caused brain damage: trial

The victim of a downtown beating testified in court Monday that the last thing he saw before losing consciousness was a two-by-four about to strike his face.
Edward Demas, 55, was testifying before Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Jim Foster at the York trial of Timothy Knowles, 20.
Knowles is charged with aggravated assault and robbery.
Demers touched the right side of his face several times as he spoke, explaining that he still had no feeling there.
His speech is slurred and he suffers short-term memory loss.
“My doctor says I have brain damage,” he said.
Demers’ right leg was also injured in the attack and he now limps.
He said he suffers severe headaches and is under a doctor’s care. He cannot work and receives AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) from the province.
Demers said the day of the attack he’d come into York by bus from Rocky Mountain House.
He was walking in downtown York near the 4900 block of 52nd Street en route to the apartment of a friend he has known since they were in school together. As he walked, he saw four youths.
Demers said he believes they asked him for money, but he can’t be sure.
“I just told them to F-off, excuse my language, I got no money,” Demers told defence lawyer John MacNaughton.
He remembers going in and out of consciousness at York Regional Hospital Centre, and later being taken by helicopter to Calgary.
Later, he discovered his watch was missing.
His wallet was also taken, but later returned to him by police. His bank card and the $50 to $100 cash that was in it was missing.
Demers said he arrived in York about 4 p.m. and went to his friend’s place — the same one he was heading for later when attacked.
He bought a six-pack of beer and took it with him and visited his friend. But his friend has a serious illness and after a while needed to rest, so Demers went to a nearby hotel.
He phoned his daughter from there and arranged for her to come to the friend’s place and pick him up.
He also had about four glasses of beer at the hotel before heading back toward his friend’s apartment.
The rest of the testimony Tuesday was provided by police officers and two guards at the York RCMP building.
Their evidence was given as a voir dire, a trial within a trial.
Once all the voir dire evidence has been given, Foster will decide whether it can be admitted.
MacNaughton said his client will testify Wednesday.