One blow with a baseball bat left a man in need of a titanium plate in his head and, six months later, a cane for stability to assist him in walking.

The victim gave evidence in the trial of William Cardenas Powery, 24, who had pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The victim, 34, was the brother of Mr. Powery’s girlfriend. They lived in the same yard.

Asked about how he was recuperating, the man replied, “Well, at first the doctor told me I wasn’t going to be able to walk again. I proved that wrong. I can move around, but not as fast as I used to.”

He said sometimes he could not think straight and could barely move his right hand. He described the effect on his whole right side, from his shoulder to his ankle. He said he was still going to therapy, including speech therapy.

On the afternoon he was injured, he said, he had been doing mechanic work on a vehicle in his yard. He became aware of a chore he thought Mr. Powery should be doing. He went to the window of the room where Mr. Powery was sleeping and woke him up. Mr. Powery came to the window and words were exchanged.

Questioned by defense attorney Crister Brady, the man told the court that Mr. Powery said something to him that he could not remember, but it “triggered” a reaction. He admitted hitting Mr. Powery in the face with his hand. Mr. Brady asked what he thought would happen.

“I thought he would come out and fight me like a man, with two fists,” the victim replied. He said he regretted punching Mr. Powery: “If I had a different approach, this wouldn’t have happened.”

What did happen was narrated by a witness, who said Mr. Powery came out of the window with a metal baseball bat and hit the other man in the head.

Mr. Brady pointed out that there was no premeditation on the part of Mr. Powery and he had no previous convictions.

The victim’s mother had written a letter seeking leniency for Mr. Powery, who, Mr. Brady said, was remorseful and wanted to do what he could do help the injured man. There was no indication that the complainant held a grudge against the defendant, Mr. Brady added, suggesting that this case fell outside the sentencing guidelines.

Justice Charles Quin agreed. He accepted the harm was caused by a single blow in a spontaneous response to insults. Justice Quin took the sentence out of the normal nine-to-16 year range by imposing three years’ imprisonment.

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