Hit to the head in bar brawl called self-defence

'I was just trying to have a good night and it all kind of went sideways'

MIKE YOUDS / Kamloops Daily News
December 12, 2012 01:00 AM

A man who struck another bar patron with a glass testified in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday he didn't intend to cause serious harm.

Kyle Henry, 30, told Justice Patrice Abrioux that he was acting in self-defence on the night of St. Patrick's Day 2011, when he struck Brandon Vigne in a confrontation at Rivers nightclub.

Vigne required 27 stitches to close a head wound.

"I couldn't believe it had happened," Henry said under direct examination by defence lawyer John Richardson. "I felt really badly that I cut him open like that. I was just trying to have a good night and it all kind of went sideways."

Henry's longtime friend, Dan Kerr, testified earlier in the day that the pair started drinking at Kerr's house with two female friends in Westsyde before catching a cab to the bar. In the club's smoking room, they were joined by Jamie Leadbetter.

Henry said he engaged in conversation with Leadbetter but didn't realize she had a boyfriend. That boyfriend was Vigne, who later came over to their table.

"I shook his hand and offered him my seat," Henry testified, adding that Vigne showed no animosity at that point. "He seemed somewhat annoyed that (Leadbetter) was out there with us."

About a half-hour later, Vigne returned to their table accompanied by three friends and spoke to Leadbetter, Henry said. He said he asked Vigne what he'd told her.

"He stepped toward me and said, 'I'm going to (expletive) spin-kick you.' "

Henry said he felt threatened and didn't think about the glass in his hand when he swung at Vigne.

"I instinctively swung my right hand toward him," he said. The glass broke as it hit Vigne. "I had no thought of the glass itself. My thoughts were on the people around me and the threat that had just been made toward me."

Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Bernie Caffaro, Henry acknowledged that he was interested in meeting a potential girlfriend that night.

"For you, she presented that potential," Caffaro said.

"I was interested," Henry replied. "I had no expectations."

Henry said he had six or seven mixed vodka drinks that night but denied police testimony that he was slurring his words.

"I was happy. I was in a good mood," he said.

The trial is expected to wrap up on Friday.

Rivers nightclub closed its doors a year ago after City council refused a request to expand seating.

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