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Charges dropped in violent attack of Okanagan doctor

Gregory Stanley Nield was charged in connection with the assault of an Okanagan doctor.
Gregory Stanley Nield was charged in connection with the assault of an Okanagan doctor. Facebook

Charges have been dropped against an Okanagan man accused of violently attacking a psychiatrist at Penticton Regional Hospital in December 2014.

The BC Prosecution Service said the aggravated assault charge was stayed against Gregory Stanley Nield after “further information” was received by the prosecutor.

“After considering this information and the rest of the file materials the prosecutor concluded the charge approval standard could no longer be met,” said spokesperson Dan McLaughlin.

READ MORE: New trial ordered for B.C. man previously convicted of violently assaulting psychiatrist

“In these circumstances a stay of proceedings is the appropriate course of action.”

Nield won an appeal of his conviction and a re-trial was scheduled to begin on Monday. Nield was not in custody and the trial will no longer proceed.

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Nield was found guilty by a jury in April of 2017 and sentenced to 30-months probation for assaulting Dr. Rajeev Sheoran while being treated under the Mental Health Act.

Court originally heard that Nield had been consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms, and that his wife took him to the family doctor on Nov. 26, 2014.

Court heard that he was experiencing auditory hallucinations, was not sleeping and was angry.

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The family doctor, Dr. Kyle Stevens, felt Nield would cause or suffer significant harm if he wasn’t hospitalized and completed a medical certificate for involuntary hospital admission.

Later that day, at Penticton Regional Hospital, Dr. Sheoran assessed Nield and prescribed medication.

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Then, on Dec. 5, 2014, Sheoran was again examining Nield when the alleged vicious assault occurred — with Sheoran suffering significant facial injuries.

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According to the B.C. Court of Appeal, Sheoran’s “orbital bone was so badly fractured that he required a prosthetic implant. His right eyeball and optic nerve were damaged.”

He also needed reconstructive dentistry and orthodontic treatment and suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as psychological and emotional problems, said the highest court in the province.

In January 2019, the B.C. Court of Appeal announced that the original trial judge erred in the criminal case of Nield, and that his conviction of aggravated assault should be set aside.

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In the wake of the incident, the Interior Health Authority (IHA) implemented safety improvements to protect staff working in the psychiatric ward.

Additional security cameras were installed, the interview room was remodeled for improved sight lines, common area furniture was replaced with weighted furniture and the pool table and cues were removed.

The health authority also made it mandatory for all staff and physicians to use a personal alarm system.

–With files from Doyle Potenteau 

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