Victim of attack admits memory of incident is hazy

Defence points out inconsistencies in his testimony

Rosie Mullaley
Published on September 18, 2013
Robert King chats with his lawyer Rosellen Sullivan Tuesday prior to the start of proceedings in his trial at provincial court in St. John’s. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Dean Maher admits he can’t remember everything about  the night of Sept. 13, 2012.
Repeated blows to the head would do that, he says.

But Maher will never forget lying on the ground in the fetal position that night, trying to cover his head as two people with weapons wailed on him in a vicious attack in Conception Bay South.

“Every time I’d cover my face, I’d get cracked in the ribs and every time I’d cover my ribs, I’d get cracked in the face,” Maher said.

“Last thing I remember is someone saying, ‘You’re going to get it.’”

When he woke up minutes later, he was in severe pain and covered in blood. His attackers were gone.

One of the people charged in the attack — a youth — has been convicted and sentenced.

On Tuesday, Maher testified in the trial of the second person suspected in the attack — Robert King.

King, 25, is charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

Questioned by Crown prosecutor Kathleen O’Reilly in provincial court in St. John’s, Maher said he had met King earlier that night at gathering at a house on Peachy Town Road.

Maher said he had asked King his name and about his tattoo (a crown on his neck). When Maher commented to King that “C.B.S. was full of pill heads,” he said King became defensive.

“He was in the corner staring at me all night,” said Maher, who said he drank beer and smoked marijuana that night.

When things got heated between the two, the girl who lived in the house asked Maher to leave. Maher went outside, but went back in again. But he was coaxed again to leave and eventually did.

 Saw suspects on side of the road

Maher left in his truck, but didn’t get very far when he said he saw King and another male on the side of the road.

He said he got out of his truck, walked up to them and asked King if he wanted to fight. He said that’s when he saw King had a steel pipe in his hand. The youth also had a weapon that also looked like a pipe.

Maher said when he saw the weapons, he turned around and ran towards his truck. But he said the two of them ran after him and assaulted him.

He said he was knocked unconscious. When he came to, he said he got in his truck and drove to his cousin’s house. His cousin took him to the hospital.

Maher was in hospital for five days. He was treated for a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. Once home, he was bedridden for a few weeks. He suffered migraines, dizziness, loss of vision, insomnia and paranoia. He said he would often black out, fall down to the floor and shake. He wasn’t allowed to drive for a period of time and didn’t return to work until May.

Defence lawyer Rosellen Sullivan asked Maher why he didn’t mention anything about falling down and shaking when he testified at the youth’s trial.

“I said I was disoriented. That’s what I meant,” he said.


Sullivan told Maher that there were several inconsistencies in what he told police after the incident and what he said in court. For example, he told police he saw the steel pipe King had as soon as he got out of his truck. On the stand, he said he walked about 200 feet towards them before he saw it.

“Yeah, that was wrong, a mistake,” he said. “It was just a mixup.”

Sullivan said Maher wasn’t being truthful about everything, noting he only seemed to remember things after he spoke to friends and police.

“I got cracked in the head,” Maher replied.

Sullivan also pointed out that when shown a photo lineup after the incident, Maher pointed to the youth and identified him as King.

“You couldn’t identify the second person,” she said.

The trial continues today.

It’s expected to last another four days. Judge Lori Marshall is on the bench.