Daily Archives: July 23, 2010

Babble it to the World Court, dear

“Press release issued by the Registrar
Chamber judgment

P.B. and J.S. v. Austria (application no. 18984/02)
Violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination)
in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life)
of the European Convention on Human Rights until 30 June 2007
No violation after that date
Principal facts
The applicants are P.B., a Hungarian national, and J.S., an Austrian national. They were born in 1963 and 1959 respectively and live in Vienna in a homosexual relationship. The case concerns their inability under Austrian law to have one partner’s sickness and accident insurance extended to the other partner.
J.S. is a civil servant while P.B. is not gainfully employed and runs the couple’s household. In July 1997, P.B. asked the authority in charge of insurance for civil servants to recognise him as a dependent to whom J.S.’s sickness and accident insurance cover could be extended. The authority eventually dismissed the request in January 1998, referring to the relevant section of the Civil Servants Sickness and Accidents Insurance Act (“the insurance act”), which provided that only a close relative or a cohabitee of the opposite sex qualified as a dependent. The administrative court dismissed P.B.’s complaint against the decision in October 2001, holding that only where a man and a woman lived together in a household run by one of them while not being gainfully employed could it be concluded that they were cohabiting in a partnership. This was not the case if two people of the same sex lived together in a household.
In August 2006 an amendment to the insurance act entered into force, which introduced the possibility for a same-sex partner to qualify as a dependent if he or she was raising children or doing nursing work in the household. This condition was not necessary for a partner of the opposite sex to qualify as a dependent. Another amendment to the act entered into force in July 2007, after which opposite-sex partners were no longer entitled to qualify as a dependent without raising children or doing nursing work in the household. The amended act included a transitory provision for people previously entitled to benefits.
Complaints, procedure and composition of the Court
The applicants complained that the administrative court’s decision discriminated against them because of their sexual orientation, relying in particular on Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8.
The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 24 April 2002.
Judgment was given by a Chamber of seven judges, composed as follows:
Christos Rozakis (Greece), President,
Nina Vajić (Croatia),
Anatoly Kovler (Russia),
Elisabeth Steiner (Austria),
Khanlar Hajiyev (Azerbaijan),
Dean Spielmann (Luxembourg),
Giorgio Malinverni (Switzerland), judges,
and also Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar.
Decision of the Court
Applicability of Article 14
The Court observed that there had been a rapid evolution of social attitudes towards same-sex couples over the last decade, during which a considerable number of European states had accorded them legal recognition.2 The Court therefore found that the relationship of the applicants, a same-sex couple living together in a partnership, fell within the notion of “family life” protected by Article 8.
While Article 8 did not as such guarantee a right to have the benefits from a specific insurance cover extended to a cohabiting partner, the possibility to do so provided under Austrian law had to be qualified as a measure intended to improve the principally insured person’s private and family situation. The extension of insurance cover at issue in the applicants’ case therefore fell under Article 8. Since P.B. and J.S. complained that they were victims of a difference in treatment without objective justification with regard to this extension, Article 14 taken together with Article 8 was applicable.
Compliance with Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 before the amendment of the insurance act
As regards the period before August 2006, the Court observed that the Austrian Government had not given any justification for the difference in the treatment of P.B. and J.S., on the one hand and cohabitees of the opposite sex on the other. The Court underlined that States had only a narrow margin of appreciation as regards different treatment based on sex or sexual orientation and that they were required to demonstrate that such a difference in treatment was necessary in order to realise a legitimate aim. In the absence of any justification, the Court concluded, by five votes to two, that there had been a breach of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 in respect of the period in question.
The period from August 2006 until June 2007
The Court considered that the discriminatory character of the insurance act did not change after its amendment in August 2006, even though homosexual couples, such as P.B. and J.S., were no longer fully excluded from its scope. There remained a substantial difference in treatment in comparison with heterosexual couples, since same-sex couples could qualify for the extension of one partner’s insurance cover to the other partner only if they were raising children together. The Court therefore unanimously found that there had also been a breach of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 in respect of this period.
The period from July 2007
The newly amended version of the insurance act was formulated in a neutral way concerning the sexual orientation of cohabitees. The Court therefore considered that as of July 2007 P.B. and J.S. had no longer been subject to an unjustified difference in treatment as regards the benefit of extending health and accident insurance cover to P.B.
The Court was not convinced by P.B. and J.S.’s argument that the legal situation was still discriminatory, as the amendment had made it more difficult to extend insurance cover by introducing additional conditions which they did not fulfil. The Convention did not guarantee access to specific benefits. Moreover, the condition of raising children in the couple’s home was not in principle impossible for a homosexual couple to fulfil.
The Court was further not convinced by the argument that P.B. and J.S. were still discriminated against, because people to whom the extension of insurance cover had been granted before the amendment continued to benefit from it. According to the transitory provision, the benefit continued to apply only to people having passed a certain age limit and was otherwise limited to a certain period of time. Such arrangements were acceptable in view of the principle of legal certainty.
The Court therefore unanimously concluded that there had been no violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 since July 2007.
Just satisfaction
The Court held that Austria had to pay P.B. and J.S jointly 10,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage.”

Doesn’t look too good now, does it Mags and Brian? Your bus and truck tour is a bust —

And rulings like this show that Gay Marriage is on the fast-track world wide.
Naturally there’ll be holdouts like Uganda. (Hey you’d have plenty of fun there kids. Ask your pal Scott Lively.) But there are an increasing number of other places in which you won’t be welcome.

Being a gay man of 63, I well remember a time when my life was sharply divided in two. There was the world I was obliged to reside in, and the one I really lived in. The former was the domain of what a wise Angelino named Christopher Isherwood ever-so-accurately called “The Heterosexual Dictatorship.” It was unremittingly hostile to what I and those I loved stood for, and it tried everything in its vast arsenal of powers to intimidate, belittle and pathologize us. The latter was “the gay world” a bohemian demimonde of cultural sophistication and louche sensuality. Then came the Gay Liberation Movement (which I joined shortly after the Stonewall Uprising) and with it a new bifurcation.

On the one hand we enjoyed enormous success in getting masses of other gays and lesbians to “come out;” first and foremost to themselves, in naked defiance of organized religion and just as organized psychiatry, and then to the world at large to fight for our rights. On the other hand getting a deeply entrenched political system (Conservative even in its Liberal wing) to cough up those rights was excruciatingly slow. Today twenty-one states, the District of Columbia, and over 140 cities and counties have employment and housing laws that protect sexual orientation. If you’re lucky enough to live under such jurisdiction you’re safe in being out and proud. If not, you’re taking your chances. And I’m talking about the results of over forty years of protesting, organizing and appealing to elected officials. ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act), a piece of legislation that would fulfill this demand nationwide once and for all languishes on Capital Hill. Seemingly all-powerful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently declared it must wait in line, the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” being more important. Now thanks to Obama’s gutlessness ENDA is pushin’ up the daisies and DADT is poised to join it in the Beltway grave.

Back when I began my political life few thought of going into the military — the hated Vietnam war was raging and the fact we were considered “immoral” and therefore “unfit” was a blessing. Now there’s no longer a draft and gays and lesbians actually volunteer to serve the interests of the oil companies, even though they’re formally unwelcome. Under the guidelines President Clinton created and President Obama claims he wants to overturn, the interest of ever-so-sensitive heterosexuals are supposedly served by a pretense that no same-sex oriented soldiers work alongside them. To judge from a recent DOD survey, the battlefields of Afganistan are as nothing compared to the shower rooms of the soldiers quarters where orgies are sure to break out if gay and lesbian existence is made known, disturbing our calm, cool and collected military.

Meanwhile Gay Marriage continues to be Topic A thanks most recently to the Argentian senate where same-sex marriage was approved. So as unikely as it seems, that once dictator-dominated country has joined a small but growing list of cities and countries around the world. As we all know California was briefly part of that list until Proposition 8 brought same-sex marriage to a halt in this state in 2008. We now await with a mixture of eagerness and trepidation the outcome of “Perry vs. Schwarzenegger” — a legal challenge tto that law. However it goes it’s but one step along the three-steps-forward-two-steps-back that has revolved around retrofitting this legal contract between individuals granted by the state. (As I explained HERE some time back.)

Recently Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, vetoed a bill to legalize same-sex civil unions, finding it “essentially same-sex marriage by another name.” Adding insult to injury Lingle, a two-term Republican who leaves office in December, invited Hawaiian Justice Steven H. Levinson to the ceremony as his 1993 opinion that laws prohibiting same-sex couples the right to marry violated the equal protection clause got the whole gay marriage ball rolling. Rarely has the middle finger been raised so decorously.

The bill that the Hawaii legislature approved in late April was in keeping with the President Obama’s own beliefs in a “separate but equal” for gays an lesbians in that while he claims to be a “fierce advocate” for our causes finds full marriage equality verboten in that “God is in the mix.” Getting God out of this marital cake batter was something one would have thought separation of church and state would taken care of. But First Amendment be damned in a society that persists in operating as if Protestant Christianity were the state religion.

Putting same-sex marriage to a vote, as Lingle and NOM demand, sounds fair — to the ill-informed. Civil Rights should never be put to a majority vote. If they were, slavery would still be legal.

Back in 1967 when the Loving vs. Virginia decision ended the ban on interracial marriage the American people were far more opposed to blacks and white tying than knot than they are to same-sex unions today. Even though Sidney poiter was the number one box office star at the time.

Had the Supreme Court decided Loving otherwise Barack Obama would not have been legally conceived two years later. (Not to mention Poier marrying the lovely Joanna Shimkus — his wife to this very day.)

Argentina, like a great many other counties was historically dominated by the Catholic Church. But world-wide priestly pedophile scandals have brought Catholicism’s prestige basement-low. The United States is of course different — a “forward-looking” society that’s as backwards as they come whenever sexuality is at issue. A recent Massachusetts district court decision has challenged the Clinton-created “Defense of Marriage Act” on constitutional grounds so don’t cry for me Argentina. As hard as Maggie and Brian are tryign to close th barn door, the horse is well on its way to winning the Kentucky Derby.

Meanwhile in darkest Vancouver. . .

“He’s a faggot. He deserved it. He touched me. I’m not a faggot. The faggot deserved it.”‘
Those words, or variations thereof, are what witnesses heard the accused say after they detained him outside the Fountainhead Pub on March 13, 2009.
Shawn Woodward had, moments earlier, knocked Ritchie Dowrey unconscious with a punch to the head then calmly stepped over the body and left, witnesses told a Vancouver provincial court judge.
Woodward is on trial for aggravated assault for the attack on Dowrey. The four-day trial began on July 21.
Crown prosecutor Jacinta Lawton told Judge Jocelyn Palmer that the assault took place in the Davie St neighbourhood pub, which attracts a mixed crowd, including members of the gay community.
“Davie St is known as a place where everyone is welcome, especially members of the gay community,” Lawton said.
Lawton asked all four witnesses Wednesday to characterize the pub. All said it was a mixed neighbourhood pub crowd that caters predominantly to the gay community.
When asked outside court if she will be seeking a hate designation to be added to a possible conviction, Lawton said it was too early to say.
“That’s a consideration for sentencing,” she told Xtra. “We’ll wait and see how it unfolds and what the judge’s decision is.”
Though Woodward plans to rely on a self-defence case alleging Dowrey made sexual advances toward him, Lawton described the attack during a pool game as unprovoked.
“The evidence will show that… Mr Woodward delivered a single punch to the head of Mr Dowrey that resulted in massive brain injuries in Mr Dowrey,” Lawton told Palmer. “As a result, he will never live the same again.”
“There was no sexual assault or attempted sexual assault by Mr Dowrey,” Lawton added.
Lawton said the risk of injury to Dowrey had to have been foreseen by Woodward.
The court heard from four witnesses Wednesday including bar staff and patrons.
Lawton opened her case by showing a number of videos from security cameras in the bar. While they do not show the assault itself, they do show Dowrey falling to the ground and someone stepping over him and heading toward the door.
“Mr Dowrey does not move in the end of the video,” Lawton said. “He does not move at all.”
The court heard Woodward immediately left the bar and was pursued by staff and patrons who caught him down the street.
Waitress Kristi McNicholl told the court she knew Dowrey as an “amicable person. He was friends with everyone.”
She said she saw Dowrey was leaning over a pool table to make a shot when Woodward punched him.
She said Woodward appeared to be with a group of construction workers who had been patronizing the bar on Fridays.
McNicholl said Woodward had put on his backpack and hat as if ready to leave before walking round the table. She said he had been watching Dowrey.
“The accused just raised his arm, turned it into a fist… punched Ritchie in the back left jaw area,” she said.
Dowrey then fell straight backward and struck his head on a tile floor, she said.
“It was loud. It was a pop. It was something a lot of people heard,” she testified.
“The accused just hopped right over him completely calm and walked right out the door,” McNicholl said.
Patron Lindsay Wincherauk testified he had been sitting at the end of the bar with the pool table in his line of vision.
He said Woodward came around the end of the table with his arm raised. He said Dowrey was raising his hand as if to high-five the accused.
“I saw a fist being pulled back,” Wincherauk testified. “Mr Dowrey started to raise his hand. “In a matter of a flash, Mr Dowrey was falling to the ground.
“He [Woodward] hit him square in the face,” Wincherauk said.
He described the victim’s fall like a straight piece of wood falling before Dowrey hit his head on the tile. “It was hard enough to knock him over backward.”
“There was a sickening thud,” Wincherauk said.
“Mr Dowrey had a smile on his face while all of this was happening,” he added.
Woodward’s lawyer, Joel Whysall, suggested to Wincherauk that Dowrey was, in fact, raising his hands to defend himself.
“Most of the time people aren’t smiling when they’re protecting themselves,” Wincherauk retorted. “I believe he held up his hand to high five.”
Under questioning from Lawton, Wincherauk told the court “it’s quite obvious” the pub caters to a gay crowd. He pointed to the giant paintings of nude men and women. He also mentioned the pub’s rainbow flags. “In Vancouver, basically it means gay,” he said.
Whysall also questioned Wincherauk about his involvement in a press conference with local politicians and community leaders after the attack. Whysall suggested the thrust of the media conference was for the attack to be considered a hate crime.
Lawton jumped in and questioned the relevance of the question. The judge backed Lawton. “I’m not sure how the witness can attest to the motivation of a throng of people,” Palmer ruled.
Patron Bin Pham testified to seeing the attack. He said Dowrey was in the bar to celebrate his retirement.
Pham testified he and Dowrey decided to play pool.
Pham said that while he was racking the balls, he heard a short guy, indicating Woodward, say to another man: “Are you okay with that?”
He said the other responded, “‘Yes, I’m okay with that.”
Head bartender Scott Larin later testified that as Woodward was in police custody, he turned to the other man and said, “‘Remember what you were supposed to see. Yeah, he touched me, he touched me.’”
After hearing the exchange, Pham said Woodward pulled his arm all the way back with a fist and punched Dowrey in the face.
Wincherauk said Woodward casually walked out of the bar after stepping over Dowrey.
He said he and several other patrons and staffers caught him about 100 feet down the street and told him they were going to detain him.
He said Woodward tried to barge through the group several times, saying he was going home.
“He said ‘He’s a faggot. He deserved it. The faggot touched me. He deserved it,’” Wincherauk testified. “It was brash, very, very strong.”
Wincherauk says he then took Woodward’s hat and threw it into the community garden.
“I said, ‘Don’t you want to hit me?’” Wincherauk said. “He started the faggot stuff again. It was kind of a continuous loop.”
Larin said he got to Woodward first outside the bar.
“His first words were ‘He deserved it,’” Larin said. “‘He’s gay. He’s a fag. He deserved it. He touched me,’” Larin said Woodward told him.
Larin said he then moved in to subdue Woodward.
His words to me as I got close were, ‘Get the fuck out of my way, faggot,’” Larin said.
Larin said he pushed Woodward against a fence to hold him for police who were then arriving.
He said he leaned in close and whispered in Woodward’s ear. “I said, ‘Guess what? I’m not gay,” Larin said. “He stopped.”
At that point, bouncers from Celebrities arrived and took control of the screaming Woodward until police arrived and put the accused in a car, Larin said.
Larin said Dowrey had only had one drink and that Woodward appeared sober.
Medical evidence admitted by consent of Crown and defence notes Dowrey was “deeply unconscious” when admitted to Vancouver General Hospital, where he underwent a three-hour operation.
Lawton told the court Dowrey had bleeding on the brain, a shift in his brain position and a skull fracture.
When assessed two months later, Dowrey could not move his left side and had minor motion on the right.
He couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and was incontinent, Lawton told Palmer.
He now lives in a care home in Langley where he needs help with eating, dressing and going to the bathroom, she said.
“The Ritchie Dowrey that went into The Fountainhead on March 13, 2009, is gone,” Lawton said.
Dowrey’s brother Allan was in court but declined to comment on the case.
A number of members of the gay community were in court, including Fountainhead manager Derek White.
He said he had problems looking at Woodward in court.
“I’m pissed off that he had the nerve to come into our pub and take away that sense of security that we’d always had,” White said.
The trial is scheduled to continue through July 26.

But wait — there’s more!

“Police officers who arrested the man charged with aggravated assault after an alleged gaybashing at Vancouver’s Fountainhead Pub on March 13, 2009 say he wanted the victim charged with sexual assault.
Vancouver Police Department Const Blake Chersinoff was one of the first officers to deal with Shawn Woodward after he was held by customers and patrons following the assault on pub regular Ritchie Dowrey.
In testimony before Vancouver provincial court Judge Jocelyn Palmer, Chersinoff was asked what Woodward said when arrested.
“‘He touched me. I’m not a fag. He touched me. I’m not a fag,’” Chersinoff responded. “He repeated that over and over.”

Say what?

“Woodward admitted he hit Dowrey when he took the stand Thursday.
“I felt his hand graze across my thigh toward my crotch,” Woodward testified. “I closed my fist and punched him in the chin. He fumbled backwards and fell.”
Asked by his lawyer, Joel Whysall, why he then fled the bar, Woodward said he “didn’t want anything to do with that situation anymore.”

So what was he doing in a gay bar?

“It wasn’t until almost six hours later that a detective told Woodward that Dowrey was unconscious in hospital.
“I was horrified,” said Woodward, clearly emotional.”

“Emotional”? Not very butch dear.

“He confirmed the statements he made on arrest.
“I said, ‘He touched me. I’m not a fag. He’s a fag. He shouldn’t have touched me,’” Woodward said.
Woodward said he was “very angry, agitated, upset, kind of bewildered” when he said the words.
However, he said he could not recall saying Dowrey deserved to be punched as other witnesses have testified.”

Must have slipped his mind.

“In court, he said he had no intention to injure Dowrey.
“He grabbed me. I was trying to get out. I was trying to get away. He grabbed me,” Woodward said.
Whysall said there must have been options other than punching Dowrey.
“It’s the only option I could think of at the time that would get me out of there,” Woodward said.
“Did you hit him because he was gay?” Whysall asked.
“No, I did not,” Woodward said.
Whysall then asked if Woodward knew Dowrey was gay.
“I got a feeling, yes,” he responded.”

Why? Cause he gave you a stiffy?

“He said he knew The Fountainhead was a gay bar.
“I knew the Davie St. area as a predominantly gay and homosexual area,” Woodward said.”

Which is why you went there YOU BIG CLOSET QUEEN!!!!

“Woodward’s friend, Greg Price, told the court earlier that Woodward had invited him for a drink on that evening.
“‘Come on down for a beer,’” Price said Woodward suggested late that afternoon. “He said he was at The Fountainhead pub on Davie St.”
Price told the court he witnessed the assault.
“Shawn punched him in the jaw and he fell to the ground,” Price said.
Price, a longtime friend and roommate of Woodward, said he had two or three bottles of beer while Woodward had four or five. He said they had been there with Woodward’s construction co-workers who left not long after Price arrived.”

Off to an orgy I expect.

Price said realized the pub was a gay and in a “predominantly gay area” after he arrived.
He said Woodward paid for a cab for him to get from Granville SkyTrain station to the Davie and Burrard pub.
“It didn’t look like a bad little pub,” he said. “I could tell the patrons were of a homosexual nature by the way they were interacting with each other. Guys were grabbing each other’s asses.”

Seeing that it was a great place to get your ass grabbed, you stayed — right?

“He said he had seen Dowrey “periodically glancing in our area.”
Price said Dowrey first approached Woodward and offered to buy him a drink just after the other workers left.
“Shawn told him, ‘No, I’m not like that,’” Price testified.
He said Dowrey later returned and put his hand on Woodward’s shoulder.
Woodward asked him not to, Price told the court. “He was civil but he was trying to get his point across that he didn’t want to be touched. A little more stern than your average voice but it wasn’t hostile.”
Price said Dowrey approached Woodward maybe four times.
“He seemed civil but he persisted. He wouldn’t leave Shawn alone,” Price said.
Price said Woodward appeared in no way hostile.
Price said Dowrey appeared intoxicated.”

Right. It’s a bar your know.

“I saw him stumble a couple times,” Price said. “He slurred his words a little bit. It might be he tripped over something. I just assumed it was the booze.”
Price had earlier testified he had not heard what was being said.
Fountainhead chief bartender Scott Larin testified earlier that Dowrey had one double Bombay gin with a twist of lemon. A second one Dowrey had ordered remained untouched on the bar after the assault, Larin said.
Price told the court that Woodward indicated he wanted to leave.
“He said, ‘Let’s get out of here.’ I just assumed Shawn’d had enough of this guy bothering him,” Price said.
Under questioning from Crown prosecutor Jacinta Lawton, Price said Woodward put on his backpack prior to the attack.
There, the judge interjected.
“Did the backpack go on before or after the punch?” Palmer asked.

And what about the fact that Dowrey was playing pool, as noted above?

In previous testimony, Fountainhead regular Bin Pham said he heard an exchange between Woodward and a tall skinny guy.
Price is six feet tall and weighed 145 pounds at the time of the incident, the court heard.
Pham said while he was racking the balls for a pool game with Dowrey, he heard a short guy, indicating Woodward, say to the tall, skinny man: “Are you okay with that?”
He said the other responded, “‘Yes, I’m okay with that.’”
Lawton questioned Price about the exchange Pham heard.
“He said, ‘Are you okay with that?’” Price confirmed. “He was referring to leaving.”
Price confirmed he and Woodward left the bar immediately after the punch. Prior to that, the accused and victim had been standing near each other, Price said.
Price said once he and Woodward were on Davie St, “a bunch of guys came out of the bar” and restrained Woodward.
“‘You don’t touch me.’ I remember him saying that several times,” Price testified. “I believe he was referring to the incident inside the bar.”
But, he added, he did not see Dowrey touch Woodward more than once, referring to the touch on the shoulder.
Price said he did not hear any of the other comments made outside the bar while waiting for police.
Despite that evidence, two other witnesses testified to hearing homophobic remarks from Woodward.
“He said ‘He’s a faggot. He deserved it. The faggot touched me. He deserved it,’” Wincherauk testified July 21. “It was brash, very, very strong.”

So “I’m OK with that” suddenly goes right out the window, eh?

Yesterday, Larin told the court he heard homophobic statements as well.
However, on Thursday, Whysall took issue with some of Larin’s testimony and the fact that he did not write a full statement for police on the night of the incident.
Whysall suggested Larin couldn’t remember whether Woodward had said “fag” or “faggot.”
“I’m going to suggest to you that this is a total fabrication,” Whysall said. “It never happened.”
Larin had already objected to Whysall’s questioning.
“He’s calling me a liar again, Your Honour,” Larin told Palmer.

Love the “suggest.”

The judge interjected after Whysall asked Price if he had ever seen Woodward threaten a homosexual.
“No,” said Price before Lawton jumped in with an objection.
“This is not a case about whether Mr Woodward is on general principle homophobic or not,” she said. “What is an issue is his reaction to what happened in the bar that evening. What was his intent that evening?”
The judge questioned why Whysall would want to put Woodward’s character at issue.
Whysall said it was to put into context his client’s statements outside the pub.
“People have been told it’s a complete and utter fabrication,” Palmer said. “Now we’re putting it into context. What’s going on?”

What’s going on is they’re trying to get the creep off.

Lawton took a number of witnesses through testimony on the opening day detailing the bar, its predominantly gay clientele and its location in Vancouver’s gay village.
Wincherauk mentioned the rainbow flags in The Fountainhead.
“In Vancouver, basically it means gay,” he said.

Not just in Vancouver.

“Lawton told the court in her opening that Woodward’s punch resulted in injuries including bleeding on the brain, a shift in the brain and a skull fracture.
Sixteen months later, Dowrey remains in a care home.”

Here’s hoping for Dowrey’s full recovery, and Woodward’s swift and lengthy incarceration — with very sizeable damages.

Sing us out Babs.