Man accused of attacking Penticton doctor has charges dropped by Crown

Charges against Gregory Nield for alleged attack on a psychiatrist at PRH stayed by Crown

Assault charges against Gregory Nield, seen in this 2017 photo at the Penticton court house, have been stayed by the Crown. (File photo)

There will not be a second trial for the man accused of the 2014 violent beating of a psychiatrist at Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH).

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service, confirmed this week that charges against Gregory Nield, now 34, have been dropped.

“The decision to stay the charges in this case was made after further information was received by the prosecutor with conduct of the file,” said McLaughlin. “After considering this information and the rest of the file materials the prosecutor concluded the charge approval standard could no longer be met.

“In these circumstances a stay of proceedings is the appropriate course of action.”

Originally found guilty of the assault of Dr. Rajeev Sheoran in April 2017, the B.C. Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Nield in January 2019.

Although Crown had been asking for a three-to-four year jail term, Nield was given 30 months of probation after being found guilty by the original jury.

READ MORE: Breaking: Jury finds Nield guilty of attacking doctor

In the appeal case, the three-justice panel said the trial judge erred on evidence relating to the mental state as someone unaware of their actions.

Nield, who had launched his civil suit against his alleged victim in 2017, claimed during the trial he had been self-medicating with psilocybin (magic mushrooms) for treatment of severe headaches.

At his first trial, the accused parents also testified as to their son’s unclear mental condition when they visited him at PRH before the alleged assault. Nield is also trained in martial arts.

Before the original trial, the accused was held in custody and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment by Judge Gale Sinclair, for a maximum of 30 days at the Coquitlam Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

He was found fit to stand trial.

Officials at the time said the incident happened when Nield and Sheoran were in an interview room alone in the psychiatric ward of PRH.

The injuries were severe enough the doctor was transferred to Kelowna General Hospital after being treated in Penticton. They included what Crown counsel at the time, Sarah Firestone, said were a broken jaw, brain injury and emotional trauma.

READ MORE: Defence turns tables on doctor

The doctor and patient had reportedly worked together without any problem before to the alleged assault.

According to McLaughlin, under the Charge Assessment Guidelines: “Charges will only be approved or continued where Crown Counsel is satisfied that the evidence gathered by the investigative agency provides a substantial likelihood of conviction and, if so, that a prosecution is required in the public interest.”

He went on to say the test applies to all stages of prosecution including cases like this one where there has been an appeal and new trial ordered.

“If, at any point, the prosecutor concludes that the charge assessment standard is no longer met a prosecution cannot proceed,” he stated. “In this case the prosecutor concluded the test was no longer met and, appropriately, directed the stay of proceedings.

“This decision was conveyed to the complainant in advance of directing the stay.”


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

assault

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Living with faith

Bea Buhler is a pillar of strength at the Alliance Church

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Revelstoke students to remain home next week

The district said staff are preparing for learning opportunities for students from home

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Corona Busters’: Vernon man drives vintage ambulance in appreciation of health-care workers

Rob Newport says he aims to make people smile during the COVID-19 pandemic with Ghostbusters-themed ride

Most Read