Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

84 kicks, 3 stomps, 28 punches on victim

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The victim of a recent five-on-one broad-daylight beating suffered 84 kicks, 28 punches, three foot-stomps and was slashed in the face with scissors, leaving him badly injured and needing urgent surgery, a Manitoba judge was shown this week.

Winnipeg police were able to be so specific about the violence inflicted on a 49-year-old man at a green-space area near Higgins Avenue and Main Street after a bystander filmed the attack on "high-quality" cellphone video and turned it over to investigators, Judge Mary Kate Harvie heard Wednesday.

And now, one of the suspects accused of being a major player in the brutal Aug. 3 attack will remain behind bars pending trial after Harvie denied him bail.

Prosecutors allege Lawrence Laquette, 25, was recruited as "muscle" to take part in the assault. At the time, he was free on bail for gashing a relative in the face with a knife as she tried to break up a fight at a home on Manitoba Avenue -- an offence to which Laquette recently pleaded guilty.

"He's being used by the other players. And he's essentially acting on orders to attack this man," Crown attorney Adam Bergen alleged.

The aggravated assault charge he's facing has not been proven and Laquette is presumed innocent. There was no publication ban on the hearing.

Bergen said there was trouble brewing between the victim and others some time prior to the attack.

Someone phoned Laquette at his group home for people with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Oblivious to what was about to happen, group home workers drove him and dropped him off in an area near where the attack took place, Harvie was told.

Bergen played the video footage in court in hopes of keeping Laquette in custody on the basis he posed a risk to reoffend if given bail. "It depicts all of the players, exactly what happens," Bergen said.

"You've done enough, you've gotten me pretty good," the victim says at one point. A female co-accused produces scissors and takes a swipe at the man, according to Bergen.

"Stop, you're going to kill me," the victim pleads. "Yeah -- you're right I'm going to kill you," she replied, before slashing him in the face, Harvie heard.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 13, 2013 A8

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