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Calgary man who took magic mushrooms found not guilty of assaulting professor

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has acquitted a former university student on charges connected to a drug-fuelled attack on a professor.

Queen's Bench Justice Michele Hollins determined that the man, who had consumed magic mushrooms and alcohol, was in a state of "delirium" and was not in control of his actions.

Court heard that Matthew Brown broke into the home of Janet Hamnett on the early morning of Jan. 13, 2018.

He was naked and hit the woman with a broom handle, causing injuries to her arms and hand.

Brown's lawyer had argued that the man was so intoxicated that he was in a state of automatism.

The judge accepted that Brown didn't remember the attack and found him not guilty of assault and break and enter.

Brown, now 29, cried as the verdict was read.

"I appreciate my friends and family being here through everything," Brown later told CTV News outside court on Tuesday.

The former captain of Mount Royal University's men's hockey team apologized for the attack during the trial, and said his words came straight from his heart.

Hamnett's daughter called the verdict disappointing.

"We didn’t want him to be severely punished. But we did want accountability and we wanted a lesson shared with society that it's not OK to get out of control and to hurt people," said Lara Unsworth.

She said her mother has returned to teaching at Mount Royal, but her life will "never be the same" because of her injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"This has affected her forever," Unsworth said. (CTV Calgary)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2020

 

The Canadian Press