Victoria building manager guilty of assault, not attempted murder

Judge rules George Earl Storry beat tenant with baseball bat, but not with intent to kill

A VicWest building manager who beat a tenant with baseball bat last year is guilty of aggravated assault, but not attempted murder, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled Tuesday.

In a decision delivered the wake of a June trial in Victoria, Justice Mary Humphries found George Earl Storry attacked and injured Chris Gibson in a rooming house on Langford Street, but not with the intent of taking his life.

“This altercation went on for several minutes. Mr. Storry is in his sixties, considerably older than Mr. Gibson, but he is a large strong man,” she wrote in her decision. “If he had the intent to kill Mr. Gibson he could have done so in this time frame.

Storry had been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in connection with the incident, which occurred May 22, 2015. Police, responding to a pair of 911 calls, found Gibson on a second-floor patio, covered with blood and saying he was dying.

Hidden under couch cushions in one of the rooms, they discovered two bats that later revealed Gibson’s DNA, which was also found on Storry’s shirt. Gibson had suffered two broken arms and lacerations of his scalp that required 43 staples to close.

Gibson testified he had answered a knock on his door to greet Storry when a second man flew past and hit him on the head with a bat. Gibson fell back into a mirror which shattered. He then slumped to the floor, where the man continued to hit him. He testified that Storry also hit him with a smaller bat, asked him where his “stuff” was and threatened to kill him.

Storry said he had knocked on Gibson’s door to investigate concerns reported by another tenant when the second man — another tenant and Storry’s friend — appeared and began ranting at Gibson about stealing his stuff. The argument escalated and the pair began hitting each other with bats. Storry said he pulled the other man off and told Gibson he couldn’t keep threatening people or someone would “put him in a trunk and take him for a ride.”

The judge determined the lack of injuries to the second man, witness testimony of hearing two threatening voices, and the patterns of blood in the room all supported Gibson’s version of the events as an unprovoked attack, not Storry’s version of an escalating argument. She also determined the evidence supported beyond a reasonable doubt that Storry and the second man both participated in the attack.

Storry had originally been scheduled to stand trial along with the second man, but the court stated the second man elected to switch his case to provincial court just prior to the trial, with the intention of pleading guilty.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnMcKinleyBP

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

Just Posted

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Organizers seek input for long-awaited Oaklands community garden

Oswald Park Community Garden Design Workshop coming up on Jan. 19

Improperly transporting a pet in the back of the truck can cost up to $368

Police recommend keeping all animals inside the passenger portion of the vehicle

Mass-timber project in Esquimalt switches from condos to rentals

Corvette Landing will now offer rental units in the area

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Most Read