On February 13, pro-life picketer Padrig Omathuna was given a conditional discharge and ordered to stay away from the abortuary for six months as a result of an assault charge laid by Toronto Police.  David Butt, a part-time Morgentaler employee, the man who actually committed the assault, was acquitted of the same charge laid by way of a private information by the victim, Mr. Omathuna.  The charges were heard in succession by Provincial Court Judge Anthony Charlton, the same judge who sentenced pro-life protester Dan McCash to five days in jail for “shouting” in October.

On September 9, Mr. Butt, without provocation, was seen to knock Mr.. Omathuna about the face with his fists and grabbed him about the neck. Mr. Omathuna remained passive throughout the violent physical attack.

The police at first declined to lay any charges even though the assault had been witnessed by at least one other person.  Curiously, the police did, however, ask Mr. Omathuna if he wished to lay a private information against Mr. Butt.  Mr. Omathuna declined at that time but changed his mind a short time later.  Returning to the police station to lay the charge, he was charged with assault himself.

At the trial, Mr. Butt contradicted the testimony given to the police constable at the scene and also gave testimony which conflicted with the evidence given by the only witness called on his behalf.

Mr. Omathuna testified that he had been violently assaulted by Mr. Butt and this testimony was verified by an eyewitness.

Judge Charlton chose to believe Mr. David Butt, a carpenter sometimes employed by abortionist Morgentaler.

Mr. Butt has bullied and assaulted a number of picketers and is frequently seen on the sidewalks near the abortuary yelling obscenities at the picketers.

“We are in big trouble”

Defence attorney Angela Costigan and the Crown attorney agreed that Mr. Omathuna should receive a conditional discharge with the condition that he stays away from the abortuary for one year.  Judge Charlton reduced it to six months.  The charge against the man who committed the assault was dismissed.

Padrig Omathuna stated after the trial that “If this is what the justice system has come to in this country, then we are in big trouble.”