Inmates attacked prisoner to send him to hospital, not kill him, defence lawyer argues

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Cells are seen during a media tour of renovations at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Halifax on May 15. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press - image credit)
Cells are seen during a media tour of renovations at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Halifax on May 15. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press - image credit)

A defence lawyer in a trial involving Nova Scotia inmates accused of attempting to murder a newly arrived prisoner in 2019 is arguing the assailants wanted to evict the man from their unit, not kill him.

Kyle Williams told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Wednesday in his closing statement that inmates wanted to force Stephen Anderson from the unit because they thought he had a prior sexual assault conviction.

Williams, who is representing inmate Kirk Carridice, says it was part of the "culture" of detainees in the North 3 unit at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility to be against living with sex offenders.

The lawyer says the goal was to hospitalize Anderson on Dec. 2, 2019, rather than end his life.

The trial involves six of 15 inmates facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, unlawful confinement, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and obstructing a peace officer.

Two more trials are expected later this fall.

Defence lawyer Ian Hutchison, whose client Jacob Lilly is also accused of assaulting an officer, said Wednesday the Crown never called Anderson as a witness, adding that it defies common sense that 15 people conspired in about 15 minutes to commit a murder.

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