Appeal in deadly assault outside Vancouver Costco dismissed

A man who was convicted of manslaughter in connection with an assault outside a Costco in Vancouver that turned deadly has been dismissed by B.C.’s highest court.

Thomas Toth was found guilty in connection with the December 2017 incident a few years ago.

The victim, 86-year-old Orlando Ocampo, was pushed to the ground outside the Costco on Expo Boulevard on the morning of Dec. 20, hitting his head in the process.

He was rushed to the hospital but died a few weeks later on Jan. 11, 2018.

Toth received an 18-month sentence in connection with the incident.

In his appeal, Toth argued his own condition was not taken into account in his trial.

“The appellant contends the trial judge erred in (1) failing to instruct the jury on the relevance of evidence of his claustrophobia to elements of self defence, (2) failing to give a limiting instruction in respect of lay opinion evidence, and (3) misdirecting the jury on the defence of consent as it applies to assault as the underlying unlawful act in manslaughter,” a court document reads.

However, the appeals judge ruled that “neither the lack of instruction to the jury on the specific relevance of the claustrophobia evidence nor a limiting instruction on lay opinion evidence constitutes reversible error.”

“Although the judge’s instructions on consent were flawed, the error was harmless and resulted in no substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice,” the ruling continued.

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