September 20th, 2019

Assault suspect fit to stand trial


By Shurtz, Delon on August 24, 2019.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A former Ontario man accused of brutally assaulting an elderly Lethbridge woman in her home in May, is fit to stand trial, says the psychiatrist who examined him.

The doctor’s conclusions, following an examination of Adam Hall Hobkirk-Onate, were discussed briefly Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, where Judge Bruce R. Fraser confirmed the accused will be able to stand trial.

Hobkirk-Onate was ordered in June to have a 30-day assessment under Section 672 of the Criminal Code to determine whether he is unfit to stand trial or was, at the time of the commission of the alleged offence, suffering from a mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility.

The assessment was extended for another 30 days following a court hearing in July, and on Friday court was told a report was completed and would be reviewed by the accused and his lawyer, Wade Hlady. The matter was then adjourned to Sept. 13.

Hobkirk-Onate, who appeared in court by closed-circuit TV from the Calgary Remand Centre, is charged with aggravated assault, housebreaking to commit a robbery and being disguised with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Police reported that a man broke into a 75-year-old woman’s home in the 3000 block of Fairway Street South during the early morning hours of May 21, and spent the night in a basement bedroom while the elderly woman slept upstairs.

For some 18 hours the man remained undetected in the woman’s home, then on the evening of May 22, while the woman was watching TV, she heard a noise and went to investigate.

She was confronted by a masked man who repeatedly punched her in the face, knocked her to the ground and dragged her to the garage where he struck her multiple times in the head with a bicycle before fleeing in her vehicle.

Police and EMS arrived at the woman’s home about 7 p.m. after receiving a 911 call from neighbours who heard screaming and saw the woman struggling with a man in her garage.

Emergency personnel found the badly beaten woman suffering from head and facial injuries and rushed her to the hospital where she was treated for multiple broken bones in her nose and other head injuries, then released into the care of her family.

At about 10:40 p.m. the same day, a police officer dealing with an unrelated matter in the area of 9 Avenue and 7 Street South saw a vehicle drive by with its headlights off, and noticed the licence plate matched that belonging to the stolen vehicle. The officer stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver. Police said they also seized some of the man’s property he had left at the victim’s home.

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