Talbot kicked dying man, jury told

Talbot kicked dying man, jury told

By GAY ABBATE
COURTS REPORTER
Thursday, June 3, 2004 – Page A13

Tyson Talbot, the former child actor who appeared in the first two Degrassi television series, intentionally punched a man and then deliberately kicked him in the head as he lay dying, a jury was told yesterday.

“He did this [kick] to a man utterly defenceless, to a man who couldn’t turn his head away or put his hands up to block the blow,” Crown prosecutor John Scutt said in his closing submission.

Mr. Talbot, 32, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. He is accused of causing Christopher Shelton’s death on Nov. 20, 2002, outside a restaurant on Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue.

The jury will begin deliberations today after a seven-day trial during which Mr. Talbot testified that he punched Mr. Shelton, 23, in self-defence.

His lawyer, Sid Freeman, told the court in her closing address that one of the key witnesses against her client fabricated his testimony. “Trevor Mitchell’s motivation to twist the facts [is] in order to avenge the death of his friend,” she said.

She accused Mr. Mitchell and two other men, including Mr. Shelton, of harassing Mr. Talbot outside the restaurant. Confronted by three men, all taller and larger than himself, Mr. Talbot defended himself as best he could, she told the jury.

But Mr. Scutt said Mr. Talbot was lying and that there is no issue of self-defence. Mr. Talbot sucker punched Mr. Shelton, who fell to the ground, his head striking the pavement, he said.

As evidence that Mr. Talbot intended to cause serious injury, Mr. Scutt said the accused then kicked the unconscious man in the head, leaving an imprint of his shoe on the victim’s face.

Mr. Talbot testified that he accidentally stepped on Mr. Shelton’s face trying to avoid Mr. Mitchell.

A pathologist testified that the cause of death was complications resulting from the blow on the pavement, which fractured the skull and caused the brain to swell and bleed. The kick exacerbated the bleeding, the court was told.

The key issue for the jury to decide is whether Mr. Talbot had the intent to kill Mr. Shelton or to cause serious injury that he knew could result in death.

Ms. Freeman said there was no such intent. Moreover, she said, he did not know that anyone could die from a punch to the jaw.

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