‘We really needed to hear that’: Man who beat Calgary professor while high on mushrooms apologizes to victim

The household of a Calgary professor who was attacked in her bed room by a unadorned man who was high on mushrooms obtained what they’ve waited practically two years for — an apology.

In January 2018, Janet Hamnett, 68, suffered a number of accidents together with a damaged hand when she was crushed with a broom deal with by Matthew Brown. Coincidentally, he was a pupil on the identical college, Mount Royal University (MRU). 

Brown is on trial for break and enter and assault with a weapon. Defence lawyer Sean Fagan known as his shopper to testify in his personal defence Thursday and though Brown mentioned he has no reminiscence of the assault on Hamnett, he believes he dedicated the crimes.

The 28-year-old cried as he checked out his victim’s household, saying he feels ashamed. 

“I feel awful, I sincerely want to apologize to [Hamnett] and her family,” mentioned Brown. “No one should ever have to go through that, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

‘A nightmare for all concerned’

Hamnett’s daughter and son-in-law have been within the gallery and mentioned Brown got here throughout as real and felt his phrases have been “meaningful.”

“We really needed to hear that,” mentioned Lara Unsworth. “I’m sure he would take that day back …I think this has been a nightmare for all involved.”

Janet Hamnett was badly crushed in January 2018 by somebody who broke into her house. She suffered damaged bones in her hand. (Court exhibit)

Brown’s lawyer will put ahead a defence of utmost intoxication to the purpose of automatism, which means Sean Fagan will argue his shopper was too high on magic mushrooms to perceive his actions on the time of the assault.

Normally that defence shouldn’t be permitted, however in a listening to held forward of the trial, Brown’s lawyer efficiently argued the present legislation is a violation of his shopper’s Charter rights.

Unsworth mentioned her total household works in training and would really like to see some good come out of the “heartbreaking” state of affairs. Something that appears extra like restorative justice or Brown talking to college students about his expertise.

“This changed his life forever too,” mentioned Unsworth.

2.5 grams of mushrooms

The six-foot hockey participant spoke softly throughout his testimony. 

Brown mentioned he grew up in Truro, N.S., earlier than transferring to Moncton when he was 15-years-old to play within the QMJHL dwelling with billet households there and in Quebec City for the subsequent 4 years.

Eventually, Brown moved to Calgary to play for MRU. 

Janet Hamnett was ready to escape to this lavatory in her house after her attacker out of the blue stopped hitting her with a damaged broom deal with. Her blood lined the ground, door, sink and partitions. (Court exhibit)

On Jan. 12, 2018, Brown, who was ending his enterprise diploma on the time, deliberate to keep the evening at a pal’s home within the southwest neighbourhood of Springbank Hill so he might have just a few drinks and never fear about driving house.

The three younger males on the gathering started taking magic mushrooms. Brown estimates that over the course of the evening he went again to the sandwich bag of medicine a number of instances, consuming about 2.5 grams. 

Brown mentioned he’d finished magic mushrooms as soon as earlier than, taking a couple of gram which made him really feel “fuzzy.”  “It was a positive experience.”

‘Ashamed and remorseful’

But within the early morning hours of Jan. 13, Brown mentioned he began feeling “wonky” like he was “losing his grip on reality.” Brown mentioned he could not determine the place he was or what was going on. 

Earlier within the trial, different witnesses testified that round 4:30 a.m., Brown appeared on the door of the house and “ran into the night.” 

After taking part in beer pong in his pal’s basement, Brown’s subsequent reminiscence is seeing his girlfriend’s face in hospital.

“Did you assault Ms. Hamnett?” defence lawyer Sean Fagan requested his shopper.

“I have no memory of that but I think I did,” mentioned Brown.

“I would never do anything like that unless I was completely out of my mind.”

When he discovered what he’d finished to Hamnett, Brown teared up: “I was shocked and ashamed and remorseful. I couldn’t believe it had happened.”

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins will hear from extra defence witnesses Thursday afternoon. 

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