A man accused of head butting another man in the washroom of a downtown bar has been found not guilty of assault causing bodily harm.
The verdict was rendered this morning in the case of Kevin Michael Stamp in provincial court in St. John’s.
Stamp shook hands with his lawyer, Randy Piercey, before he left the courtroom.
The 25-year-old was charged following an incident that happened Nov. 17, 2012, at Shamrock City on Water Street.
Testifying in the trial a few weeks ago, the complainant said he was in the washroom when Stamp walked in, suddenly grabbed him by the shoulders and head-butted him.
He suffered a broken nose and a head laceration that required eight stitches to close.
He said he had never met Stamp before and couldn’t understand why he did it.
Stamp said he had every reason to do what he did. He testified that the man sexually assaulted him and that he head-butted him in retaliation and self-defence.
Piercey had argued that the amount of force Stamp used was necessary under the circumstances and that the head-butt was an understandable reaction to being sexually assaulted.
Crown prosecutor Danny Vavasour suggested Stamp fabricated the story about being sexually assaulted. And if the man did sexually assault him, Vavasour argued, head-butting was excessive.
But Judge Pamela Goulding said there was an air of reality to Stamp’s version.
She said she found it difficult to believe that Stamp assaulted a stranger for no reason.
“That would have been highly unusual and bizarre,” she said.
She agreed that Stamp was in such close proximity to the man, that the reaction was understandable.
She agreed with Piercey that Stamp could not have been expected to have measured the nicety of the force he was using in response.
She said she accepted Stamp’s explanation that he didn’t contact police after eight attempts by the officers because it was a busy time if year. Stamp had said he did make his best efforts