A man accused of assault with a hatchet told police after his arrest that he wasn’t the one who committed the offence.
Anthony Florence told Ashcroft RCMP when he was taken into custody that “I did nothing. I was at a neighbour’s for the last three hours.”
Florence pleaded not guilty to two assault charges as his trial opened in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
He remains in custody at KRCC, and appeared in the prisoner’s dock with scraggly grey hair and a gaunt complexion. Florence was uncertain of how he should plea and had to be advised by defence counsel.
Police were summoned to the home of Rhoda Kirkpatrick in Ashcroft on the night of Jan. 10. They found Kirkpatrick’s son leaning against a wall and bleeding profusely from a gash at the back of his head. He was transported to RIH for treatment but later refused to make a statement to police, not wanting to attend court.
In a search of the house Jan. 10, an officer found a bloodied hatchet behind an easy chair in one of the bedrooms where the assault is believed to have occurred. A series of photos entered as evidence documented the crime scene.
Officers also found that the accused had a large amount of blood on his right arm and hand.
A brief voir dire — a trial within a trial — was held Wednesday to determine the admissibility of exculpatory evidence provided by Florence to police. Justice Nathan Brown ruled the evidence was given voluntarily and was therefore admissible.
RCMP Sgt. Michele Grondin testified that when Florence was being booked into a cell, he took blood swabs from the accused man.
“It wasn’t me,” he said to the officer. “I did not do this. They did it. I didn’t touch the kid.”
The trial continues.